Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is a system that ensures that the goods produced by various manufacturing facilities are consistently produced and controlled according to specified quality standards. There are GMP systems for everything from cosmetics to pharmaceutical products and of course, food.
GMP looks at every aspect of the manufacturing process to guard against potential risks that can prove detrimental to its products. Cross-contamination, mislabeling, and adulteration are just a few of the things GMP aims to prevent. Thus it aims to make customers happy and satisfied by delivering them safe food.
Good Manufacturing Practices:
It includes the following areas:
1.1. Personal Practices and Hygiene- This includes personnel arriving in the manufacturing unit with clean hairs, hand, nails, body, no perfume or aftershave. They should wash and sanitize their hands each time they enter the production area, after visiting the toilets, after eating or drinking, after handling RM and cleaning. They should also remove their neck chains, rings, earrings, wrist chains, watches and piercing, Leave personal items in their locker, and change into company-provided clothing.
1.2. Storage and Handling: Products that are produced should be stored and handled under clean and sanitary conditions. For e.g.
- All items should be stored to avoid direct contact with the floor or walking surfaces
- Product or ingredient containers must not be stored immediately adjacent to containers with waste or non-product item.
1.3. Equipment Maintenance: Procedures describing preventive maintenance and calibration of all the equipment and instruments that can affect food safety (eg: thermometers, thermocouples, metal detectors, scales, pH meters)
1.4. Equipment and Utensils: These should be clean-able and adequately installed and maintained. Food contact surfaces should resist corrosion and be made of non-toxic materials. Freezers and cold storage units must have a temperature monitoring device to clearly show the compartment’s inside temperature where food is stored.
1.5. Pest Control: Should be done to prevent transmission of diseases and pathogens. For this, one should use traps and baits stations in strategic areas, or by using proofing doors, windows etc. EFK (electronic fly killer) and insect light trap should be placed at a standard height (at 6 feet) and the lights used in this should be replaced/checked one time per months; pheromone traps are also used for cockroaches, these should be well placed & operating,
1.6. Housekeeping: Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards. Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents. The 5S theory can best explain this.
1.7. Quality Control: It is a part of GMP which is concerned with sampling, specification, testing and also organization, documentation.
To assist in the effective implementation of Good manufacturing practices (GMP) within the food business, it is advisable to document how the food business will implement relevant Good manufacturing practices (GMP). It is equally important to maintain records to support any Good manufacturing practices (GMP).
The GMP Inspection
To ensure the effective implementation of Good manufacturing practices (GMP), it is beneficial for the food business to undertake its own internal GMP inspection. This generally involves reviewing the site visually to see if it complies with customer expectations and regulatory requirements. This inspection should not merely be a “tick and flick” activity but a comprehensive assessment of the site to determine the level of GMP compliance. A record of any GMP inspection undertaken is required to be kept as evidence in a third-party certification audit. Any issues identified during the GMP inspection should be quickly rectified, and a root cause analysis should be performed to avoid reoccurrence.
Why are GMP food safety audits done?
A GMP Food Safety Audit focuses on preventing contamination and reducing risk. GMP audits are done to verify the company’s food safety practices; it informs that the processes are effectively implemented, including their HACCP Program. Thus, a GMP audit can help companies improve their food safety and quality systems. It is a stepping stone to prepare your company for accredited certification to SQF, FSSC 22000, BRC. Different companies follow the different format of an audit checklist. Following is an example of an audit checklist.
One of the most critical components of GMP is quality control (QC)—the process of sampling, testing and comparing results with pre-agreed specifications as part of the overall quality assurance (QA) process. GMP helps to ensure the consistent quality and safety of products by focusing on five key elements, which are often referred to as the 5 P’s of GMP—people, premises, processes, products and procedures (or paperwork/documentation). Moreover, if all five are done well, there is a sixth P -profit!
Businesses in the food industry have a legal and moral responsibility to prepare food that is safe for the consumer and by not implementing adequate good manufacturing practices (GMP), a food business can risk its self reputation and will also risk its consumers.