Guide Helps Companies Improve Food Safety


Growing Forward 2 (GF2) funds are now available for companies that want to improve their food safety practices. It's important that Manitobans have confidence in the food they buy. In the past year, highly publicized food recalls have put food safety top of mind for everyone — growers, processors and consumers.

Basic GMPs Guidebook

Many Manitoba food processors have already implemented written food safety programs. For those who haven't, there is a GF2 program to help get you started. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) has published the Basic Good Manufacturing Practices (Basic GMPs) guide.

The guide covers staffing practices and sanitation at an entry level. The goal is to help owners, managers and quality assurance staff set guidelines for managing proper procedures for handling visitors to the facility, hand washing, staff clothing, facility cleaning and more.

"Basic GMPs helps employers set specific company rules and policies," says Jill Zacharias, MAFRD food safety program manager. "This allows them to be confident that everyone knows company expectations and specific procedures that must be followed to process food safely."

Creating a Food Safety Culture

The practices also help companies introduce food safety culture in their facilities by teaching employees the importance of proper cleaning and sanitation practices. Once employees are comfortable with the basics, owners/managers can introduce more advanced food safety programs such as comprehensive GMPs or hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) practices, which add procedures such as pest control, recall and equipment maintenance.

"Introducing food safety procedures like those found in Basic GMPs can make a difference for businesses," says Zacharias. "It may reduce the risk that someone will get sick from their products; improve staff knowledge and confidence; and increase the overall quality of their products."

Introducing the Basic GMPs program can lead to an increased shelf life for some products, because cleaner equipment and less cross contamination can reduce the level of food spoilage micro-organisms.

Funds Available for Getting Started

Funds are available for all levels of food safety implementation through Growing Forward 2's, Growing Assurance Program — Food Safety Processing and Distribution. Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that supports many programs in the agricultural industry.

Basic GMPs Funding

How to Apply

Basic GMPs is an excellent starting point for food processions, distributors, transporters and direct food contact packaging manufacturers.

Through Growing Forward 2, you can request up to $5,000 to apply the program, with the government covering 65 per cent of the total cost. There are additional funding programs available for each level of food safety, including comprehensive GMPs and HACCP.

Before you apply, discuss your project with a food safety specialist and review the program terms and conditions (PDF 71 KB).

Your application can be submitted to your local MAFRD GO Office or sent directly to:
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD)
PO Box 1240, 810 Phillips Street
Portage la Prairie MB R1N 3J9
Fax: 204-239-3180 in Portage la Prairie

Once MAFRD receives your application, a food safety specialist will contact you to arrange an on-site assessment of your facility. The assessment reviews the baselines and objectives of your project and includes a basic food safety risk analysis. When the assessment is completed, a letter of approval is issued from MAFRD confirming your funding, which you must sign and return.

You will have a year to complete your project after you receive the written approval. Once you've implemented the program, a food safety specialist will inspect your facility to make sure you have met all the requirements and then you can submit a project claim form to receive your funding.

The MAFRD CVO/Food Safety Knowledge Centre staff are available to answer questions. You can also email a food safety specialist.

Other Resources

Technical Resource Centre


Sign up today for Growing News

Get this featured article and other Growing Forward 2 program updates by email.
Subscribe to the Growing News newsletter today.