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Food Quality and Safety 
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  RELATED INFORMATION
Sanitary Facilities & Controls
GMPs Overview

Facility Environment

Contamination can be significantly reduced through effective housekeeping, maintenance and organization. The same steps used for maintaining cleanliness inside your facility should be used for the exterior and perimeter of your operation.

Plant environment

The following recommendations should be implemented to minimize the potential for contamination associated with the plant:

    1. Ensure that all glass lights in processing and warehouse areas are shielded or otherwise protected.
    2. Provide adequate lighting in all almond processing and support areas, including hand-washing areas, dressing and locker rooms, restrooms, and all areas where almonds are examined, processed or stored.
    3. Whenever possible, glass and hard plastics are prohibited in food factories.
    4. Provide adequate space and layout to facilitate production and prevent accidental contamination of almonds.
    5. Ensure that floors, walls, and ceilings are constructed of appropriate materials that facilitate cleaning and maintenance.
    6. Provide adequate ventilation or control equipment to minimize odors and vapors (including steam and noxious fumes) in areas where they may contaminate almonds.
    7. Develop procedures for reviewing any potential changes in the facility for their impact on GMPs and modify accordingly.

Grounds environment

The following recommendations should be implemented to minimize the potential for contamination associated with plant grounds:

    1. Maintain plant grounds so as to reduce the potential for contamination. Grounds must be free of trash and debris. Grounds must have adequate grading and/or drainage to avoid standing water. Vegetation should be controlled to prevent pest harborages.
    2. If there are other activities on site of the facility or nearby, preventive measures shall be taken to prevent the cross contamination of almonds stored or processed on the facility by biological, chemical or physical hazard.
    3. Building and grounds must be maintained to prevent entry of pests.
    4. Waste facilities must be well maintained and designed to prevent contamination of product or packaging material. Waste containers must be clearly identified and emptied in a timely manner.
    5. Roads, yards and parking lots must be maintained so they do not pose a threat of contamination to any stored almonds on site.
    6. Equipment stored on the grounds shall not provide sources of contamination or pest harborages.
    7. Conduct internal audits of grounds by inspecting and recording observations concerning items 1-6 listed above.
    8. Store, convey and dispose of rubbish and processing waste to minimize odor and the potential for attracting flies and other pests to protect against contamination of almonds, almond contact surfaces, water supplies and ground surfaces.

Pest control

All animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects, are potential sources of contamination in processing environments because they harbor, or could be a vector for a variety of pathogenic agents, such as Salmonella or  E. coli. Each facility should establish a pest control program to reduce the risk of contamination by rodents, insects, birds and any other pests. Download the full GMP manual.

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