GMPs are the guidelines or steps that manufacturing companies need to follow when manufacturing products to ensure that they are of the expected quality (Food Allergy Information n. d.). Under these regulations, often enforced by law, processors, manufacturers, packers of some food, medical devices, and blood are required to ensure that they produce pure, effective, and safe products. GMP guidelines call for quality approach when manufacturing products so that companies can eliminate or minimize instances of errors, contamination, or mixups. Consequently, consumers are protected from buying dangerous or defective products. Companies that fail to comply with GMP guidelines may be faced with serious consequences such as product seizures, fines, jail time, and fines.
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GMP practices can be useful in determining if a food has been processed, packed, and stored under sanitary conditions. In addition, they can be used to determine if a food product for example has been adulterated or contaminated with filth. Failure to use GMPs when manufacturing food can render them injurious to the health of consumers (HACCP Alliance 1999). For example, pasteurization of such food products as milk and juice is considered as a good manufacturing practice. The same case applies to freezing of foods. In pasteurization, the food is subjected to specific heat conditions for a specific period of time to destroy pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms. In case the pasteurization process does not adhere to these conditions, then the food in question is not free from spoilage and pathogenic microorganism and is thus injurious to the health of consumers. In addition, freezing creates an unfavorable environment for microorganisms to thrive, thereby enhancing the shelf life of a food. If this step is sidestepped in the manufacturing process of a food, then this violates the GMP guidelines.
Clear labeling of food products is also considered a good manufacturing practice. Proper labeling of food products not only informs consumers about the contents of the package, but also serves as a warning of some of the potential biological hazards that the food could be exposed to. Some of these include Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhi, and Bacillus cereus, among others. If at all good manufacturing practices are to be achieved while processing food products, there is the need to ensure that such hazards are controlled.
GMP regulations address personnel, equipment and utensils, employees and visitors, cleaning and sanitation, control of operation, process and production controls. It is important to assess the health condition of the personnel to avoid infected lesions and communicable infections. Cleanliness of the personnel should also be observed. For example, they need to wash their hands before commencing work, or after they have been away from their workstation (Keener 2009). In addition, employees should maintain sufficient personal cleanliness. For instance, nails should be kept short. Appropriate clothing should be worn to avoid contaminating food-contact surfaces, food packaging material or the food itself.
There should be designated areas for smoking and eating, and these should be outside the production area. Additionally, a storage area should be set aside where personnel can keep their clothing and personal belongings (Keener 2009). Visitors to a food production facility should not be allowed to enter the production area to prevent or minimize food contamination. In case it becomes necessary, they should be provided with suitable protective clothing
Good manufacturing practices also involve the traceability and identification of products at different stages of production (Keener 2009). In addition, mechanisms should also be put in place to recall defective products from the market should the need arise.
Food Allergy Information., n. d. GMP and HACCP. Web.
HACCP Alliance., 1999. Guidelines for Developing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Environmental Sampling/Testing Recommendations (ESTRs). Web.
Keener, K., 2009. Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices. Web.
Keener, K., 2009. Small Meat Processing Plants: A Recall and Traceability Program. Web.