The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law 10 years ago, has standardized many aspects of how food manufacturers ensure their products are safe for consumers.

Food safety concerns, however, vary at different processing and manufacturing facilities. For example, a lettuce processor and a cookie manufacturer will have unique plans addressing issues specific to the products they receive, process, and ship to retailers, foodservice operators, and other customers.

That is especially true for cannabis edibles manufacturers, whether it’s a large corporation offering various gummies or a small company producing cookies or other baked goods.

This blog will highlight how Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) gave birth to ImEPIK’s Good Cannabis Practices (GCPs) and how they can help address food safety issues particular to the manufacturing of cannabis edibles.

GCPs: An Introduction to Good Cannabis Practices

The backbone of a company’s food safety plan is comprised of current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and FSMA mandates that food facilities comply with risk-based preventive controls and the GMPs contained in the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule.

ImEPIK has developed a set of two dozen cannabis-specific GMPs, incorporating them into our courses as Good Cannabis Practices© (GCPs©). They are specifically tailored to help companies connected to the production of cannabis edibles address food safety issues. Beyond that, some GCPs focus on the unique security and handling of the ingredients and finished products that are necessary to manufacture and package cannabis edibles.

Key GCPs Identified by ImEPIK’s GCP Training Courses

Food facilities covered by section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act are required to have food safety plans that include:

  • Hazard analysis: Identifies hazards, including biological, chemical, and physical hazards.
  • Preventive controls: Ensures that identified hazards are minimized or prevented.

ImEPIK’s GCPs identify salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and other pathogens as biological hazards; and pesticides, mycotoxins, and the potency of the cannabinoids as chemical hazards. Shelf-life, packaging requirements, and traceability are also listed in ImEPIK’s hazard analysis GCPs.

Other components of food safety plans, according to the Preventive Controls for Human Foods rule, are:

  • Monitoring;
  • Corrective actions and corrections;
  • Verification;
  • A supply-chain program;
  • A recall plan; and
  • Associated records

Site security at facilities manufacturing cannabis edibles should be thorough, according to the GCPs. Each state has its own security code, often including security cameras, guards, secure entrances/exits, and fencing surrounding the facility.

The GCPs advocate for annual reviews of the cannabis edible safety plan, with particular attention paid to current laws and municipal codes. Cannabis regulations are dynamic at the local, county, state, and federal levels, and management should create a system to stay current and communicate changes to employees.

ImEPIK Can Show You How to Build Your Cannabis Edibles Food Safety Plan

Whether you’re entering the cannabis edibles market for the first time or have an established business and need to train new employees, ImEPIK’s Cannabis Edibles Safety Course multi-level offers comprehensive training to become an industry expert.

The course is 100% online and allows employees to proceed at their own pace. Contact us today to start the process for you or your team. Team discounts are available!

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