Good Manufacturing Practices: What you need to know about good manufacturing practice in the food industry

By Tara Pascual | 06/05/2020
GMP at work

What Are Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)?

Good manufacturing practices are a set of systems deployed by food manufacturers to ensure that production of goods is consistent, controlled, and compliant with existing regulatory standards and methods.

GMP systems ensure that every step of the manufacturing process is monitored, evaluated and quality assured. These systems are put in place in order to minimize risks including but not limited to cross-contamination, mislabeling, and product adulteration.

Through GMP, wastage and losses are avoided. Companies that have instituted a system of good manufacturing practice are protected from catastrophic product failure. Most importantly, the end consumers can be assured that what they eat are safe.

GMP and Regulatory Compliance

Responsible government agencies regulate the quality of food products to protect consumers from negative health risks. Companies that don’t follow GMP standards pose significant dangers to the consuming public. Some of these risks include poor hygiene, contamination and adulteration of food products, easy spoilage, mislabeling, and many more.

To ensure that these risks are minimized, regulatory bodies of the government mandate companies to implement strict GMP systems. These agencies conduct inspections, verifications, and validations to maintain the quality of the food produced by manufacturers.

Companies that are compliant with GMP standards can effectively distribute their products in the domestic and foreign markets. Those that fail to meet the required GMP may be forced to recall their products or cease operation until they comply with the standards.

Good manufacturing practices at work

Basic Guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practices

Almost all governments have specific guidelines for GMP that may be flexible in order to adapt to the existing manufacturing levels of their respective countries. But overall, there are a set of universal guidelines that governments follow to ensure that manufacturers produce quality and safe products.

The basic guidelines for GMP include the following:

1. Quality Management – this is the system instituted in order to ensure that products produced by manufacturers are fit for their intended use. Included in this category are systems on quality control, quality assurance, and risk management.

2. Basic hygiene and sanitation – a system of sanitation and hygiene are put in place on every step of the manufacturing process. It includes systems that cover the process from raw materials procurement, storage and production to finish products and packaging.

3. Facilities safety – as a general rule, buildings, premises, production plants and premises must be safe to the environment and suitable to the production of products. Premises must be free from the risks of contamination of materials and buildings/plants must be designed to ensure that operation errors are minimized.

4. Raw materials – procurement, storage, and utilization of raw materials should meet certain conditions that will ensure the safety of the production process. Proper stock management must be met in order to ensure that all incoming raw materials are high quality.

5. Personnel quality – the people involved in the production process are the most critical aspect of manufacturing. That is why GMP ensures that personnel are highly trained and are aware of the systems of good manufacturing practices.

6. Documentation – GMP requires that the manufacturing process is consistent, controlled, and replicable. These three objectives can only be met if companies institute a system of documentation and record-keeping.

7. Quality Audits – food companies need to perform regular quality audits in order to ensure that their systems are always followed. Audits are also critical for spotting errors in the process. Through a system of audits, corrective actions can be performed in a timely manner.

Ways to Ensure and Sustain GMP Compliance

Food companies need to have a Quality Team that is mandated to implement good manufacturing practices and ensures that protocols are being followed.

Starting a GMP program can be a bit challenging especially for local food businesses. Swift Mindanao Co. can assist you in the implementation of a GMP system that is suitable for your company’s needs. We also offer GMP trainings and workshops to strengthen your organization’s GMP compliance.

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Tara Pascual
Co-Founder at SwiftMindanao Co. | + posts

Tara is a licensed Professional Food Technologist (PFT) with more than a decade of solid experience in the food industry. She was a Science Research Specialist at the Department of Science and Technology and was included in the roster of DOST One Expert Consultants. She currently manages Swift Mindanao Co. and serves as its lead consultant.