Good manufacturing practice (GMP) is a critical part of the quality assurance and control (QA/QC) pipeline for food contact materials, from primary packaging through to kitchenware. Although GMP principles were established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they were designed as a framework of accountability where the minimum benchmark of quality exceeds the compliance parameters for various market regulations; including those setup by the European Commission.
GMP principles run the gamut in terms of addressable areas, but they are also deliberately flexible. As such, GMP in food industry checklists often range from as few as three key principles to more than ten. At Jordi Labs, we believe there are five key elements of GMP in the food industry which you should be aware of.
1. Primary Materials
GMP in the food industry is primarily concerned with food contact materials – sometimes abbreviated to FCM. It is necessary for FCMs and their constituents to be sufficiently inert so that they pose no risk to consumers and will not influence the quality of the product. Adhering to this from a current GMP (cGMP) perspective demands the stringent adoption of singular formulae without deviation throughout the manufacturing cycle. Essentially, manufacturers must verify the efficacy of candidate materials, and exclusively utilize the best primary materials for FCMs.
2. Facilities & Equipment
The next thing to consider is the standard of your premises. Everything from the research and development (R&D) laboratory to the packaging line must be properly maintained to guarantee that all working conditions are fit for food production. Key GMP considerations here span from the most basic of cleaning standards through to critical equipment servicing, which mitigates the risk of contamination from the processing equipment or the facility itself.
Employee hygiene is another critical aspect of GMP in the food industry. Cleanliness is by-and-large second nature to most employees in food manufacturing and packaging facilities, but it is crucial to go beyond encouragement and to make cleanliness a documented habit. Food contamination from poor hygiene can lead to issues of non-compliance. Training personnel in the relevant hygiene regulations and providing the necessary equipment for avoiding human contact with products, is essential to building a skilled workforce which routinely operates within the GMP framework.
The FDA expects companies to use modern equipment for all procedures. As the remit of cGMP principles is extremely broad, it is impossible for the regulator to establish individual checklists of verified equipment for every procedure. Instead, companies should use equipment and procedures which are reasonably up-to-date, and should be able to validate the quality of those procedures if/when audited.
Though last on the list, the concept of documentation is not a final consideration in GMP food standards. It runs in tandem with all four elements on this GMP checklist. Manufacturers should look to build quality into every step of the manufacturing chain, and to do that, it is important to document every pertinent detail to ensure full accountability. Naturally, all documentation should be written in plain, professional language and should be easy to follow.
Food Industry GMP with Jordi Labs
Most manufacturers, packagers, and processors of food goods adhere to strict internal standards which are sufficient for cGMP standards, but there is often an element of uncertainty. Jordi Labs is a trusted partner with years of experience in lab analysis for a wide range of applications. If you would like to learn more about our GMP food contact material compliant services, why not contact a member of the team today?