The FDA has rigorous guidelines outlining how food manufacturers should manage their businesses. These rules cover everything from weeding the lawn to the kind of grouting and enamel to use on table surfaces. In this short series of posts, CERTUS is going to take you through some of the most relevant (and easily overlooked) parts of the “Current good manufacturing practices” (CGMP.)
One of the most important parts of any business is the employee. Whether it’s the floor manager overseeing quality assurance activities, or the associate on the line working directly with your product: the FDA requires strict adherence to several policies and procedures for food safety.
Disease Control and Cleanliness:
- Any employee with open wounds, lesions, or illness is expected to avoid contact with the food, even if this means being excused from work until the issue is resolved.
- All workers in contact with your product must maintain good hygienic practices, including the washing of hands after an absence from the area in which food is being prepared or processed.
- No associate can wear unnecessary jewelry which may come in contact with the product. If the jewelry cannot be reasonably removed, the employee must cover it with appropriate material.
- Your business must provide your employees appropriate hair netting, caps, or similar hair restraints.
- Additional protections may be required to prevent contamination from cosmetics, tobacco, or medicines applied to your employees’ skin.
Education, Training, and Supervision:
Anyone in your employee who regularly oversees sanitation failures or food contamination must have education or experience which qualifies them to accurately examine said components of your food safety.
- Food handlers must receive training in food handling techniques, including topics such as food-protection principles, and hygienic risks.
- Any supervision of these instructions (or management) activities must be undertaken by competent personnel.
There are many specific guidelines provided by the FDA. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, so we recommend you take a look at the full guide on the FDA’s website. Following these guidelines is an excellent first step towards food safety for your product and your business.