GMP stands for good manufacturing practices. The role of GMPs in food industry success is critical – they help food and beverage companies maintain food safety and quality. All relevant food legislation, including the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), emphasize these practices, as do customer certification requirements.
Why is GMP So Critical?
Implementing GMP helps companies deliver safe products to their customers, and ultimately, the public. The food industry is both morally and legally responsible for providing products that pose no safety risks for consumers. Thus, GMP procedures can encompass everything from following proper protocols for allergen labeling to minimizing risks of contaminants such as salmonella and E. coli.
Failure to implement GMPs properly can have devastating results for food companies. In addition to legal fines and penalties, the financial implications of a recall can have a major impact on companies of any size. For small businesses in particular, the results could lead to bankruptcy. Beyond the immediate economic impact of food safety issues, there is also the lasting effect of damage to brand image, which can be nearly impossible to erase.
While every food safety plan should be robust enough to include detailed steps for minimizing risks, there are a few basic GMP principles under which many of these tactics can be categorized. Here is a loose outline of operational conditions and procedures included in the FDA’s recommendations for current GMPs:
- Proper maintenance, layout, and operation of food processing facilities
- Proper maintenance of equipment and utensils
- Sanitation processes and controls necessary to ensure food is suitable for human consumption, which includes:
- Protection against physical, chemical, and microbial contaminants
- Monitoring of critical control points like humidity, pH, flow rate, time, and temperature
- Protection against natural defects, including a pest control program
- Avoidance of foreign materials such as glass, metal, and plastic in finished products
While legal requirements are much more detailed than those listed above, this general framework may help for establishing or revisiting GMPs to verify current best practices are in place.
About SafetyChain Software
SafetyChain is a Quality Management System (QMS) that helps food and beverage companies improve productivity, profitability, and compliance with a flexible, user-friendly software platform that captures, manages, and analyzes real-time operations data. Learn more at https://safetychain.com.