FDA Reader
Simplifying Food Regulation


FDA Reader: Simplifying Food Regulation

Sanitary Operations in Food Processing Facilities

These requirements are a part of the Current Good Manufacturing Practices that relates to Sanitary Operations. You can see the full guide to cGMPs here

Requirements For Sanitary Operations

Inadequate storage of chemicals and poor sanitation indicate a breakdown in food safe systems

Inadequate storage of chemicals and poor sanitation indicate a breakdown in food safe systems

General Maintenance:

Your space and everything in it must be in good repair to prevent food from being contaminated (i.e. no leaky ceilings, which could drip in food). Your cleaning processes should protect your food, packaging, and workspace from contamination.

Cleaning Chemicals:

  1. You must only use safe cleaning chemicals. Toxic chemicals may only be allowed in food areas if they are:

  • Required for cleaning

  • Used in lab testing

  • Necessary for equipment maintenance

  • Absolutely necessary

2. You must store toxic chemicals in a way that protects food from contamination (Label it with the everyday name and keep it away from food and packaging)

Pest Control

Pests aren’t allowed in any area of the plant. You must exclude pests in the space and only use pesticides when it won’t result in contamination of food, packaging or work spaces.


You must clean food contact surfaces, including utensils, tables, equipment, to protect against contamination.

1. If you process low moisture (dry) food, your food contact areas must be clean and dry before use.

2. In “wet processing” food processing areas must be cleaned before use and after any contamination occurs.

3. Paper towels, paper cups and other single-use items must be protected from contamination.


These surfaces (i.e. walls, ceilings or anything that doesn’t touch food) must be cleaned as much as necessary to prevent contamination of food, packaging, or work areas.

Portable equipment and utensils must be stored in a way that doesn’t contaminate work areas.


This section applies to most traditional food processors that fall under FDA jurisdiction. However, there are some notable exceptions.

  • Farms

  • Fishing Vessels

  • Establishments who solely hold and transport agricultural products

  • Establishments who only raw process (i.e. shell or dry) nuts.

  • Mixed-Type farm facilities (defined in §1.227)


This Article is For You if…

∆ Your business is regulated by the FDA

∆ You operate a space where food is handled, packed, or produced.

∆ You want to understand cleanliness standards for your space.

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Guide to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (117 Subpart B)

Guide to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (117 Subpart B)