Customizing Current Good Manufacturing Practices Training and Education for Small and Very Small Food Facilities across the U.S.

Added by Byron Chaves Elizondo • Last updated June 3, 2024
Author: Byron Chaves Elizondo
Type: Project (Food Safety Outreach Program - FSOP)

Good Manufacturing Practices outline the minimum sanitary, environmental, and operational standards that a food processing facility must meet to manufacture, process, pack, or hold food in a safe and wholesome way, thus reducing the chances of product adulteration, and ultimately, the incidence of foodborne illness. FDA-registered facilities must comply with 21 CFR 117 Subpart B: current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). To score well during an inspection, facilities must understand the fundamentals and nuances of the regulation. However, this represents a challenge for small and very small businesses that may not have the financial resources, staff, or technical assistance needed to increase compliance. cGMP violations at the national level continue to be extremely prevalent, calling for a greater effort to understand the origin and source of food safety incidents and for the development of appropriate risk-reduction strategies that can sustainably help the food industry protect public health. Therefore, the long-term goal of this project is to improve the capacity of small and very small food facilities across the United States to comply with current cGMP regulatory requirements. Specifically, we propose to (1) Conduct cGMP compliance readiness assessments in small and very small food facilities in four different U.S. geographical regions; (2) Determine cGMP preferred training and education delivery methods for food workers in small and very small food facilities across the U.S.; (3) Examine barriers to the consistent and sustainable implementation of cGMP in small and very small food processing operations across the U.S.; (4) Reconcile the content of GMP training and education materials with the most commonly reported GMP violations in food processing operations; and (5) Customize, develop, and/or expand current cGMP training materials in English and Spanish suitable for small and very small food manufacturers across different U.S. geographical regions. Our overarching hypothesis is that targeting and customizing cGMP training will increase compliance with federal regulations and protect public health while contributing to food business continuity and expansion.