Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) describe the methods, equipment, facilities, and controls for producing processed food. As the minimum sanitary and processing requirements for producing safe and wholesome food, they are an important part of regulatory control over the safety of the nation's food supply. The GMP regulation (Part 110 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations) has been in effect for over 30 years and is periodically revised. GMPs describe the general conditions or practices in a food processing facility, more specific sanitation procedures and standard operating procedures that are site specific should be developed for each plant. GMPs also apply to all parts of a food operation including: receiving, storage, processing, handling, and shipping of the finished product.
The Importance of GMPs
- GMPs extend the shelf and storage life of products
- GMPs reduce the risk of a product or process suspension
- Proper GMPs reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses
- Reduced product reprocessing
- Compliance with federal and commercial product specifications
- Reduced number of product rejections, returns, and/or complaints
GMP vs. SOP.
GMPs are usually refer to practices and procedures performed by a food processor which can affect the safety of the food product. GMPs may refer to the people, equipment, process and the environment in the production process. A Standard Operating Procedure is “established or prescribed methods to be followed routinely for the performance of designated operations or in designated situations.” SOPs may be thought of as one task that is performed in the production process.