GMP, or Good Manufacturing Practice, is a system of guidelines defined in order to ensure the proper manufacturing process of a product. It aims to guarantee the reproducibility and uniformity of products through strict supervision of the entire production process - from supply of raw materials, through storage, manufacturing, packaging, marking, to storage and distribution of finished products. Thus, it allows for elimination of any situation that threatens contamination of the product with other adulterants, such as chemical compounds, as well as physical objects and harmful microflora.
In most industries where their use is mandatory, the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice are aimed at ensuring adequate security for end users of the finished product.
One of the overarching principles of GMP is excluding all incidental activities from production processes and ensuring that these processes remain in accordance with the strict requirements presented in the form of instructions, procedures, etc.
The implementation of GMP standards provides consumers a greater level of comfort and assurance of the quality of the product manufactured at the plant which uses Good Manufacturing Practice.
Regardless of industry, the principles of GMP primarily concern:
- staff carrying out their respective tasks;
- premises in which the processes are carried out;
- equipment used in the processes;
- raw materials and packaging;
- carrying out of the production process in accordance with clearly defined regulations;
- the finished product;
- quality control laboratory;
- cooperation (subcontracting);
- dealing with claims and complaints, as well as procedures in the case of having to withdraw the product from the market;
- internal audit;
- GMP documentation.
The requirements concerning GMP are defined in various types of documents, including the Regulations of the EC (EU legislation), national regulations and international standards. For the food industry, the definition of requirements can be found in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006 of 22 December 2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (OJ L 384 of 29.12.2006, p. 75 as amended).
Generally speaking, GMP activities are preventive measures against hazards for food safety used by the HACCP management system.