Pro Tip: Five tips to help bakeries prepare for a GMP food distribution center inspection.

Like with any other segment of the food industry, food distribution centers are expected to follow current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as the highest industry standards to ensure food safety. These five tips will help minimize non-conformities as well as prepare industry professionals for a GMP inspection:

  1. Maintain your exterior grounds: Adjust the cleaning and preventative maintenance program to keep up with any external issues affecting your exterior grounds, such as after excessive rain or windy conditions. Remove debris, trash, overflowing dumpsters, bird roosting and water puddles.
  2. Housekeeping is a must: An important aspect of a distribution center is its overall cleanliness and organization. During your daily walkthroughs and monthly self-inspections, identify issues, conduct root cause analyses and implement corrective action plans. Be sure to follow up on the action plans to ensure completion. 
  3. Monitor your perimeter: Be sure to inspect your wall and floor junctions in the warehouse and in support areas. Look for signs of pest harborage and evidence of eating, drinking or smoking in non-designated areas. A daily visit by the supervisor will help ensure the perimeters are maintained properly.
  4. Recoup and repack areas: These are the areas that are most susceptible to pest activity. Make sure all open items are discharged daily, and keep these areas clean.
  5. Old inventory: Discharge old inventory. Slow-moving products are often damaged or sit too long and expire, making them ideal for pest infestation. Run a monthly inventory report to identify the products that require immediate attention.

Bret Zaher is a manager at AIB International.