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Best Practices

Food Safety Best Practices – Part III (Buildings and Facilities)

By | Best Practices, Blog

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. This concludes the short series of posts. CERTUS has taken you through some of the most relevant (and easily overlooked) parts of the “Current good manufacturing practices” (CGMP.)

Maintenance of Buildings and Facilities:

Your place of business dictates many things about how you run your company. Your business volume, product output, and even profitability are largely affected by your buildings and facilities. The FDA also asserts that the state and condition of your production space (and the area around it!) affect your businesses’ food safety.

Grounds:

  • The FDA requires that you properly store your outdoor equipment (lawn mowers, for example.) In addition to this, you are also expected to remove litter and debris in a timely manner, as well as keeping control of your grass and weeds.
  • You must adequately drain low areas, to prevent habitat for pathogens or pests.
  • Having systems in place for waste treatment.

Plant Construction:

 Any plants owned by your company must be large enough to allow for cleaning and sanitizing activities (especially after you have installed your machinery!)

  • Good lighting must be provided in all areas, but especially in places where food is examined, processed, or stored. Be sure to use safety-type light bulbs!
  • Provide quality ventilation, to keep odors and pollutants from contaminating your food.

Sanitary Requirements:

 General sanitary maintenance is expected to a reasonable level.

  • Be sure to check that the chemicals used to clean and sanitize are approved by the FDA. They include:
    • Those required to maintain clean and sanitary conditions;
    • Those necessary for use in laboratory testing procedures;
    • Those necessary for plant and equipment maintenance and operation
    • Those necessary for use in the plant’s operations.
  • It is expected that you are keeping up with current pest control procedures. NO pests are allowed to be in contact with your food at any point.
  • Hand washing facilities must be readily available in many areas of your facility

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.

Food Safety Best Practices – Part II (Equipment and Utensils)

By | Best Practices, Blog

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.)

Equipment and Utensils:

At the heart of your production plant, is your machinery and equipment. It’s what allows you to maintain your high standards, and it helps you maintain consistency across your product line. But if your equipment slips into disrepair, or if it isn’t properly maintained, your machinery can become a liability. The FDA has produced several guidelines for how to properly clean and manage this vital part of your company.

Initial Standards:

  • All equipment should be designed to be easily cleanable.
  • Each piece of machinery must be designed to avoid contamination from oil, metal fragments, fuel, or any other related bi-product.
  • Food-contact surfaces should be corrosion-resistant, and non-toxic.

Construction and Cleanliness:

 Seams on food-contact surfaces must be made so as to avoid the collection of contaminants. Large welds, for example, cannot be used.

  • Any equipment near the food (even if it is not in contact) must be easily cleanable.

Cold Storage and Measuring Devices:

  •  Any cold storage unit must have a thermometer, and an automatic control.
  • Any equipment which measures PH value (or any related measurement) must be well-maintained, and you must have enough of them to accurately measure those values, regardless of how much products you are creating.

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.

Food Safety Best Practices – Part I (Personnel)

By | Best Practices, Blog

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.)

Personnel Guidelines:

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.