The Ultimate Guide to GMP in the Food industry

What is GMP?

GMP is short for good manufacturing practices and forms an important part of the overall HACCP food safety system in a food business. Good manufacturing practices (GMP) can be defined as the operational requirements necessary to enable a food business to produce food safely. There is a heavy emphasis on compliance with Good manufacturing practices (GMP) in all relevant food legislation and customer certification standards.


Why is GMP important?

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) are important in order to produce safe food. The food business has a legal and moral responsibility to produce and prepare food that will not harm the consumer. There can be a high cost to the food business if it does not implement adequate Good manufacturing practices (GMP). All staff should be trained in the food businesses GMP procedures.

Basic GMP and the food business

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) includes many basic operational conditions and procedures that are required to be met by the food business. These can include the following:

  • The correct construction and layout of the food premises.
  • The condition of the external environment of the food premises.
  • The adequate maintenance of equipment and utensils used within the food business.
  • The use of suitable chemicals within and around the food premises including cleaning chemicals, pest control chemicals and machine lubricants.
  • The identification and storage of waste within and by the food business.
  • The cleanliness of the food premises, equipment, utensils, floors, walls and ceilings.
  • An effective pest control program implemented within the food premises and surrounds.
  • The avoidance of foreign matter within the finished product. Sources of foreign matter can include wood, glass, metal, plastic, pests, paper, string, tape.

Documenting GMP

To assist in the effective implementation of Good manufacturing practices (GMP) within the food business it is advisable to document procedures on how the food business is going to implement relevant Good manufacturing practices (GMP). Equally important is to maintain records to support that any Good manufacturing practices (GMP) have been implemented.

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 is complying to 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 performed to avoid reoccurrence.

75 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to GMP in the Food industry”

    1. i think it is because lack of producers’ concern. they might think GMP is not important as they only run small business.

    2. Important role play by higher management if they are eager to do it there bis no issue. Training of employees play an important role because if you give the to time training to your employees they will follow the rules and regulations. It’s an physiology effect and they feel little bit guilty if they are not following the rules…. Don not only train them what to do but also inform them if they don’t do it what will happened.

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      The whole reason we try and avoid glass is to lessen the risk of glass (should it break) ending up in the food product. You would need to risk assess the chance of glass getting into the food product from your lunch room. Some scenarios to consider include: Do staff walk through the production area with their glass food containers to get to the lunch room? What is the distance between the lunch room and food production / storage areas? What type of uniform requirements do you have in your food business (is there a change between production and break-times)?

  1. Is there a specific standard description available for GMP, If yes kindly share as we require to implement the same at our premises

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      GMP requirements are included in all GFSI accredited standards and in regulatory requirements. There is not just one standard devoted to GMP.

        1. Amanda Evans-Lara

          I would suggest approaching your local health/food safety authority to see what the local rules are for the construction of a food premise.

    2. Down load BRC 8 (food) standard. GMP requirement with respect to site, building, machinery, storage, personnel hygiene all are explained.


    Dear sir/madam.

    I am so appreciated to get about GMP information. It makes to be safety of Food for Costumers and make high quality Product of food product avalable.

  3. Dear,

    If a manufacturer is GMP food safety certificated, does that mean that the products that they manufactur are safe for consumption?

    If yes. In wat countries is this GMP certificate relevant?

    1. Certification only relates to a snap-shot of the condition the food manufacturing premises was in at the time of the audit. Certification does not provide a guarantee of food safety at all times.

  4. hi, so basically for all food industries will they apply the GMP or each industry supposed to have their own GMP

  5. Hi we are a chocolate company based in Ecuador , we aim to enter the Canadian market very soon , we would like to obtain a Good Manufacturing Practices certificate that is recognized in Canada, could you please advise me on how we do this and what the requirements are regards Simon

  6. Do you have anything specific information on the control of mold or rules food mfg must follow. I am currently in a legal dispute on a work comp claim where my employer who first admitted to mold is now claiming there wasn’t. any.

    1. Hi Julie, nothing specific sorry. As a general rule, mould should not be present in food handling and preparation areas. I would suggest contacting your local authority for further guidance.

      1. Hi Maam, how to create or what is the format in creating a GMP manual for a food industry? Thank you in advance.

        1. Hi Fercy, thanks for your question. The best place to start is by researching what are the GMP food laws in your country of manufacture. You can then review any additional requirements from customer standards like SQf, BRC, FSSC2000 etc. When you have your list, you can then go through and document how your business will comply with each requirement and how you will prove that you have correctly implemented.

          I hope this gives you a start.

  7. We are in throes of conveying one of pure food grade line (supplying bulk materials) to a Parma grade line ,what shall be considered. for the GMP compliance as per PIC/s guideline

  8. Hi i would like to use this article/blog as a reference but i see no author name. can you please provide me with the names and surname of the author. thank you

  9. Good manufacturing practices (or GMP, in short) are the practices required in order to conform to the guidelines recommended by agencies that control authorization and licensing for manufacture and sale of food, drug products, and active pharmaceutical products. The role of these guidelines is to ensure that a pharma or food industry’s products’ quality is good, and that they do not pose any risk to people’s health.

  10. sir if i have question which were asked in my exam …. what is gmp please give me a correct answer and plz give the answer related to food tnx

  11. Emmanuel MUGWANEZA

    thank you, we are in an assignment about GMP, but some terms here are not well understandable so that we can well explain this to our follow students!! better can you help us with sending some documents to my e-mail about GMP! THANK YOU.

  12. Can I know if wooden panel board that serves as insulation inside the truck van is acceptable considering the wood policy in GMP? Note that we are handling dry ingredients that require ambient temperature. Appreciate your prompt response.

    1. Hi Sam, thanks for your question. It really depends on your country of manufacture and any applicable food legislation. If there is no food laws relating to the use of wood in your food business or transport vehicles, make sure that the wood is adequately sealed and maintained in a good conditions ie no splintering, mould, cracks, breaks etc. Also ensure you have an regular inspection program to verify the good condition.

  13. Enety Zidyambanje


    You haven’t yet replied a question on the distinction between ISO22000 and FSSC 22000. We are waiting for the response.


  14. Hello! I’ve already signed up for good manufacturing practice online course, and now I’m looking for Pharmacovigilance course. Do you provide such online training?

    1. It really depends on how large your facility is and what procedures you currently have implemented. Your local regulator may inspect you at any time so it is advised to be GMP ready all the time. It should be apart of normal business procedures.

    1. The best place to start is with the GMP legislation in your country of manufacture. This should guide you as to what needs to be included for your particular food industry.

  15. Good Manufacturing Practice is a necessary and useful course, indeed. I had to take it a few months ago and I chose online option. Thus, I saved time but I still got the certificate and more importantly, the knowledge that I needed.

    1. Hi Vidyanand….think of food safety as being “safe”, preventing your customers from getting sick or injured. Food Quality is more about sensory attributes eg. colour, taste, size, shape, texture – customers generally do not become ill from food quality issues.

    1. Thanks Syed for your question. It really depends on what hazard you are trying to address and the actual risk. You can ask questions around micro or physical hazards and where are the pallets to be used (in production, in direct contact with food items, in a warehouse, no direct contact). Plastic pallets have an advantage over wooden pallets as they are generally impervious and more easy to clean (if they have been designed correctly).

    1. Hi Susan

      You wood policy should talk about / document:
      1. The types of wood found in your business
      2. Assess the impact of these items on your food product
      3. How do you control these items so they do not contaminate the food product
      4. How are you going to check/verify the condition of the wood items.

      Items may include wooden pallets, wooden handled cleaning equipment, equipment or utensils that are made up of wood, wooden surroundings

      Hope that gives you a start.

      1. Thank you very much for the information Amanda. I will be able to draft the wood policy now.

  16. Hi! I would like to ask is there any website where I can pattern a GMP Manual in Meat Processing Plant? Badly needs it, ASAP!

  17. Hi! Can I ask how are we going to be officially gmp certified? Is there a process that it needs to undergo? I will be the one implementing the GMP and HACCP of our company, and i really do not know what to do next after creating the gmp and haccp, are we going to be GMP and HACCP certified? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jacob

      When you have finished writing and implementing your HACCP system (and all the procedures that go into that) you can search for a certification body that will certify you. You need to check for certification bodies within your country of operation. It is also good to have at least 8 weeks of records completed to be able show correct implementation. I also recommend that all of your verification activities have been completed. To get an idea of the certification process click here.

    1. Hi Mak….thanks for your question!
      The best way to explain this is if I use the analogy of a pie. The pie (called ISO22000) is made up of lots a separate pieces. HACCP is one of those pieces. GMP is another piece of that pie along with pest control, calibration, resource management, management commitment, control of nonconformity, traceability system etc. If you take a look at the contents page of ISO22000, you can see all the pieces of the pie that go to make up the full pie (ISO22000).

      Hope this short explanation has helped you. Just let me know if you need more information.


  18. We are an Indian Co engaged in manufacturing of organic Wheatgrass Powder. Our product is sold as a food supplement, hence we have done only HACCP & Organic Certification. But now demand has come from Malaysia that we should have GMP as Wheatgrass is classified under Pharma product in Malaysia.
    My question – Is GMP needed if HACCP is already there?
    – What is basic GMP & what type of GMP will be needed for us?
    – where is your Co from? I did not find your address.

    1. Hi Hermant – If you have HACCP in place correctly it should already cover GMP. YOu need to be able to get GMP right before you attempt HACCP. Basic GMP relates to things like pest control, cleaning, personal hygiene etc. IF you have any other questions please let me know.

        1. Hi Bharat

          Thanks for your comment. It really depends on where you are located. Different countries will have different laws / rules on the construction of a food premises. For good GMP to be achieved your construction should minimize contamination, prevent pest infestation, allow for good worker hygiene and allow for good cleaning to occur. Please refer to the laws in your country.

    2. cGMP is complement to HACCP – If HACCP is already existing… implementing cGMP will augment or Strengthen the certification of HACCP.

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