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    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 1 February 2007 Referencing Hub media

    Rebecca has to follow good manufacturing practice when she is working with food. What steps are taken in the food processing plant to ensure all food products are as hygienic as possible? How is this tested?


    Rebecca Abbot (Plant & Food Research)

    GMP or good manufacturing practice is important because we are providing products that people have to eat, so it is very, very important that they are safe to consumers and they are produced in a hygienic way.

    In the processing plant, we have to take a number of hygiene steps. We have to wear either white lab coats or overalls. We also have to wear either gumboots or protective clothing on our shoes or coatings. We have to wear hair nets. Men with beards have to wear a beard net, which looks quite funny. We also are not allowed to wear any jewellery in the plant.

    For us to check that our product that we produce is up to standard, we actually send the samples off-site to an independent tester, and they look at the microbial status of that product, so that includes things like bacteria, moulds and fungi – those types of things.

    Now it depends on where the product fits into the regulations as to what we have to meet, but there are always very specific regulations for particular foods, and we have to make sure that those values fall under those specified.