Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's)
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are two tools for a meat processing facility that help for the production of high quality and safe meat products. The programs established for GMP's and SOP's will provide the basis for other programs the help to assure the level of product quality such as standards for ISO 9000 and for product safety in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. Many companies like to view these systems as a pyramid (Figure 1.) with the GMP's and SOP's supporting the more advanced program of HACCP and all three programs being important for the ISO 9000 system.
GMP's and SOP's are not clearly separated as one may overlap the other. GMP's are ususally referred to as practices and procedures performed by a food processor which can affect the safety of the meat or food product. GMP's may refer to the people, equipment, process and the environment in the production process. SOP's may be thought of as one person's job or one task that is preformed in the production process.
GMP's are written into food regulations in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for most food products produced. Rules and regulations established by FDA are published in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Chapter 1, Part 110. In this regulation the term current good manufacturing practices is used and the criteria and definitions used apply to determining whether a food is adulterated; whether the food has been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth; or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health. The regulations address personnel, buildings and facilities, equipment and utensils, and production and process controls. These rules are not applied to meat processing facilities under the USDA FSIS in the United States, but provide an excellent framework for meat processing companies to establish GMP's in their production plants.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the regulatory agency with enforcement over the meat processing industry. Rules and regulations to sanitation standard operation procedures established by FSIS are published in Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Chapter 3, Part 416. Part 416 includes guidelines for grounds and facilities, equipment and utensils, employee hygiene and for Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures.