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.
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.