Increased Efficiency of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) Through Area Consolidation

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Virginia Tech

Plant operations personnel are responsible for daily food safety paperwork, including a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) monitoring form. These practices of along with the standard sanitation operation practices (SSOP) are considered the backbone of safe, quality food. Before the consolidation project, this large United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspected meat processing plant was separated into 42 different monitoring areas. Even though many of these areas overlapped with each other, but there were still certain areas of the plant that were not covered, creating an issue for the FSIS and auditors to complete record review. The main objective was to identify if consolidating areas monitored for GMPs would decrease the amount of time dedicated to checking paperwork, while still producing safe, wholesome food. After consolidation of areas monitored on the GMP form, the amount of areas dropped from 42 to 27. Since changing over the GMP monitored areas, more visual checks throughout the production floor were randomly completed throughout the day by the food safety team to ensure a standard of thoroughness since the newly designated areas encompass more square footage. There would be a range of visual checks on the floor from 3-5 times per production day. From my visual monitoring of the production floor, I noticed that the GMP standards have consistently remained the same compared to before the area consolidation. From a reviewing standpoint, food safety staff can check daily paperwork 8.7 minutes faster daily due to the fewer amount of GMP forms to physically review. Food safety staff has also had a much easier time pinpointing which areas are problematic based on the consolidated list. This helps with corrective actions, audits, and overall plant management.