' GMP the first step to Safe Food, Article FFSQ
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(L-R) Seetaraju Gembali, Managing Director, GSR Pharma Research; Vinod Arora, Principal Advisor, IGMPI (Moderator); Dr Girish Jain, President, Research & Development, Alkem Laboratories and Pramod Pimplikar, Managing Director, Shalina Laboratories

Maneuver your growth through adequate food safety knowledge

Maneuver your growth through adequate food safety knowledge

Where food safety is a culture, Maneuver your growth through adequate food safety knowledge

Where food safety is a culture, Maneuver your growth through adequate food safety knowledge


GMP the first step to Safe Food

GMP the first step to Safe Food

GMP-the-first-step-to-Safe-FoodGMP stands for good manufacturing practices. As they say necessity is the mother of all inventions. Outbreaks in the human history have plagued us and we have just somehow managed to recuperate from them. When we suffer an irreparable loss we endeavor not to let it occur again. The Food Industries in the world strive to maintain the stringent food standards and are in a constant battle to produce safe food. The safe food concept is not new but has undergone a variety of changes in the past and is bound to change in future because of the continuous research and rapid new product development. The advancements in science and automation of food production present a series of new challenges to us.

The Food industry worldwide is highly variated and thus poses a completely new set of challenges. With the advent of increased research and the introduction of advanced techniques for food production, those intricate avenues have to be identified where there could be a possible source of threat to the production of safe food. There is a great potential threat to food safety through export and import, as there is a great difference in the level of food safety implementation amongst various nations. A recent study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that over a period of 5 years from 2005 to 2010 imported food caused 39 outbreaks in US and 2,348 reported illnesses; moreover about half of them are caused by the foods coming from Asia. Thus it is truly important to minimize the risks involved. The answer lies in the implementation of Food safety throughout the supply chain.

The greater gradient between the conditional capability of the manufacturers, suppliers and the increase in the demands for food by the rising population has forced a compromise on food safety. Many parts of the world are dependent on the efforts of the political machinery to implement something new or a forced survival option to make their product competitive enough to target a premium product market.

“One World One Food Supply” was the topic for the latest GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) 2014 conference held in Anaheim, California, USA. Thus it now coming down to a global effort to minimize the health risk through food. This we can start by increase in awareness about the Good Manufacturing Practices that are the minimal basic requirements to have a food safety system.

Due diligence has to be given by everyone involved in the food chain. All the stakeholders of the food industry have to ensure the application of Good Manufacturing Practices at all levels from reception of raw material right to the retailer.

A brief History

In pursuit of excellence for food safety it has been realized that food safety is a 24 hour discipline. It can never be let off we have to continually endeavor to produce safe food.

Food safety has been known to influence the social lives of the people throughout history of mankind. The first society to give importance to the freshness in fruits and foods was that of Rome and the rich had fresh food delivered to them to be prepared by their servants or slaves.

There has been a primitive method of preserving food is by salting and sun drying. As time grew canning was invented by Nicholas Appert in 1809 to keep food safe for a longer period.

In the 1860’s Louis Pasteur invented pasteurization for the preservation of milk, he also elaborated on the fact that food spoilage causes illness in the humans.

In 1862 a chief Chemist was appointed by President Lincoln in the US Department of Agriculture. The bureau of Chemistry was formed, the precursor to the present Food and Drug Administration, USA.

In 1930 Food and Drug Administration is born under an agricultural appropriations act.

In 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed by US Congress which replaced 1906 Pure Food & Drugs Act.

In 1958 A list of 200 substances was published by the FDA for recognition as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established by the Food & Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization in 1963 to promote safe food international trade.

The Global Food Safety Initiative was formed under the Belgian Law in 2000 to ensure food safety worldwide for all consumers.

There have been many Laws in India but it was very tedious to work under them. They used to fall under a number of Ministries of the Government of India. To provide a solution for this the Food Safety Standards act was passed by the Indian Parliament in 2006 and also a specialized authority; The Food Safety Standards Authority of India was established under to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for its enforcement and ensuring food safety in India.

In 2010 the US Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act which gave more powers to regulate the food how it grown and harvested.

Challenges for Food safety

The food safety as stated earlier is a 24 hour discipline which has to be taken care of by everyone in the supply chain. The responsibility lies for all those who are involved in the production of food. There is a great lacking of uniform laws and systems but as we are now a global village and heavily dependent on exports and imports it is primordial to find a suitable solution to the present situation. The food sector in India is a highly unorganized sector in which anybody can sell anything without a proper approval of the food product as the purchasing power of the individuals vary everybody likes to go for the cheaper choice that has seriously compromised on food safety. The lack of awareness is the key problem in our country we have two types of companies in the supply chain; one are those who strive to apply the standards in their capable limits to prevent food safety breach and the other who are unaware about the potential causes that pose threat to food safety. Both of these types of firms need effective training for a genuine implementation of food safety. The political factors also come into play as political machinery takes a long time to bring a law as it curtails the activity of the market players thereby affecting the trade.


According to the famous proverb, “Charity begins at home” we can unhesitatingly say “Food safety begins at Home”. Assessing the present situation we can now not afford to play the blame game. It has to start and it should be from everyone be it young or old. The food safety approach starts by implementation of the Good Manufacturing Practices in your food process chain. In order to ensure food safety through Good manufacturing practices we have to develop methodologies to train the skilled and unskilled workforce and to highlight the reasons for adequate knowledge to the workforce. GMP guidelines have been laid by the FDA in 21 CFR part 110. These have to be simplified and taught to all as much as possible according to their relevance, which will definitely create a strong and a more promising food safety system which produces healthy and safe foods for our precious human lives.

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