In the food industry, good manufacturing practices are essential to guarantee the quality and safety of the food that reaches our table. This practice refers to the procedures and standards to be followed at all stages of production, from the selection of ingredients to packaging and labelling.
Good manufacturing practices, known as BPMare a set of guidelines and standards established to guarantee the production of safe and quality food, covering key aspects such as personal hygiene, proper food handling, quality control, food safety, storage and transport, labeling and traceability, among others.
The main goal of GMP is to prevent any type of contamination or alteration in food that may endanger the health of consumers. By using it, companies in the food industry can ensure consistency in the quality of their products and create consumer confidence.
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Rules and regulations
In the food industry, there are numerous standards and regulations governing good manufacturing practice, which vary from country to country and may include recognized international standards. Some of the most important regulations in this area are:
- ISO 22000 standard: This international standard specifies requirements for a food safety management system throughout the supply chain.
- Regulation (EC) no. 852/2004: This European Union regulation establishes food hygiene standards that all companies operating in the EU must adhere to.
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): This US law aims to protect public health by preventing foodborne illness and improving the safety of the food supply chain.
These are just some of the most recognized regulations, but each country may have its own specific standards related to good manufacturing practices in the food industry.
Personal hygiene and food handling
Food industry employees must follow strict guidelines to ensure they do not introduce contaminants into products, and some important measures include:
- Hand washing: Workers should wash their hands with soap and warm water before and after handling food, after using the bathroom, and after touching any surface that may be contaminated.
- Use of appropriate clothing: Clean uniforms, hats or hairnets, and face masks should be worn if necessary. This helps prevent contamination of food with particles of hair, dust or other contaminants.
Continue reading: HACCP and its importance for food safety
It consists of the implementation of processes and procedures that guarantee that food meets established quality standards such as:
- Sampling and analysis: Food samples are taken at different stages of the production process and analyzed to confirm its quality and safety, which may include microbiological, physical and chemical tests.
- Employee training: It is important to train staff on quality standards and control procedures, ensuring that all employees are familiar with the standards and know how to do their jobs properly.
- Equipment overview: Equipment used in the food industry must be in good condition and clean to avoid contamination, regular inspections must be carried out to confirm its operation and maintenance.
- Registration and tracking: Detailed records of manufacturing processes need to be kept, including information on ingredients, batches and production dates, making it easier to track and identify quality issues.
It consists of implementing measures to prevent contamination of food and ensure that it is safe for consumption.
- Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP): It is a food safety management system based on the identification and control of significant food hazards. Production processes are analyzed and preventive measures are established to minimize risks.
- Good hygiene practices: In addition to personal hygiene, hygienic practices must be implemented at all stages of production, from the receipt of raw materials to final packaging. This includes cleaning and disinfecting equipment and surfaces, as well as pest control.
- Allergens: Food companies must pay particular attention to allergen management. They should avoid cross-contamination and ensure that allergens are clearly labeled on products.
- Traceability: It is important to be able to track products throughout the supply chain. This allows you to quickly identify and remove any food that may pose a health risk to consumers.
Food safety is essential for protecting consumer health and maintaining trust in the food industry, and proper implementation of safety measures ensures that food is safe and of good quality.
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