What are Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) Regulations?

Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) are the backbone of any food safety program.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are the backbone of any food safety program. They cover topics like hygiene, facility cleanliness, and good record-keeping. Even the design of the manufacturing plant itself is covered in these regulations.

Overall, cGMPs ensure that food is safe for consumers and something our customers can be proud of. The goal is to prevent issues before they happen and to quickly correct them if they do.

The GMP Ready Room is an area where staff can prepare to work, take breaks, and receive additional or refresher training on food safety practices.
The GMP Ready Room is where everyone’s day begins.

The GMP Ready Room

The ‘Ready Room’ is where everyone begins their day. The area provides space to prepare for work. Employees place food or drinks in the refrigerator and personal belongs in a locker.

Keeping such items out of the restricted space is important.

Staff sometimes receive additional or refresher trainings on food safety in the ‘Ready Room’. During the work day, they also return to this space for breaks.

Lockers and coat space for workers and visitors to the facility.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices are the following principles:

  • Maintain a clean and hygienic manufacturing area.
  • Prevent cross-contamination from adulterants and allergens.
  • Manufacturing processes must be clearly defined and controlled.
  • Critical processes are validated for consistency and compliance. Any changes to the process must be evaluated.
  • Procedures must be written in clear language and use good documentation practices.
  • Operators must be trained to carry out and document procedures.
  • Records must be made which show that all necessary steps were followed and documented.
  • A recall system must be in place.
  • Complaints must be investigated and proper action taken if necessary.

Before anyone enters the production facility, they must understand cGMP regulations. Staff attend training and must pass a competency test to work in the cGMP restricted area.

Rather than passing the test, visitors or outside contractors are escorted at all times while in the facility and sign a waiver prior to entering the facility.

The entrance to the restricted space has a constant reminder of the rules nearby.

Everyone is reminded of the rules every time they get ready to walk through the red doors into the restricted area.

Putting cGMPs to Work

We use proper hand-washing methods and everyone always wears hair and beard nets during production. All staff receive training right down to proper technique and how long to wash your hands (20 seconds).

Daily post-production cleaning checklists cover all productions and all other sections of our facility. These are geared towards preventing cross-contamination. Weekly inspections confirm that all procedures are being followed correctly.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices continue to evolve. The word ‘current’ reflects that these practices change over time. Each facility is different, so rules change to fit the situation.

We strive to remain at the forefront of cGMPs and all FSMA regulations regarding food production and safety.

As a result, we educate our staff and refresh our training often. The production schedule leads to many opportunities for teachable moments as well.

For more information on cGMPs and why they’re important, check out the FDA’s website here.

Show Me the Honey

Catskill Provisions and Glen Copack work like busy bees to re-package NYS Farm raised honey and mixes

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Spring Honey” packaged at Glen Copack and ready to be shipped.

What’s All the Buzz About?

The proprietor of Catskill Provisions Claire Marin, has an interesting story. She was born in Spain and raised in the bustling town of New York City. She discovered the lovely Catskills town of Long Eddy and decided to dive into her hobby, beekeeping. This hobby allowed her to understand how bees work together and grow in their surroundings and watching them work inspired her to start a business.

Claire M Marin, CEO and Founder of Catskill Provisions. Photo courtesy of www.catskillprovisions.com

An Emphasis on New York State

She wanted to focus on the ample resources available in upstate New York and work with local vendors and farmers to bring NY State Raw honey to market. Much like bees working harmoniously together, Catskill Provisions now tends to 300 beehives in Upstate New York and works with local beekeepers to harvest raw honey each year in small batches.

Claire’s commitment to organic and local food has made her products staples of New York State eateries, hotels, and specialty stores.

Catskills Provisions Needed a Food Co Packer

Catskill Provisions realized that their business needed a reliable food co-packer to repackage their raw honey and to also produce their pancake mixes. They also knew that they wanted to work with a company that was based in New York State, so they began searching for a copacker.

“It was a necessary step for us to grow in order to fulfill orders from bigger clients. We needed a copacker to help get orders out in a quick and efficient way. In order for us to grow as a company, we needed a reliable copacker and Glen Copack was the solution.”

Claire M Marin, CEO Catskill Provisions

Catskills Provisions is a female led business with a strong connection to good causes. A percentage of Catskill Provisions’ sales goes to environmental causes dedicated to protecting bees and other pollinators. Glen Copack operates under the Arc of Schuyler, which provides supports to people with varying ability.

Claire mentions that a friend informed her of Glen Copack and had nothing but positive things to say about the business. Claire states that, “I am always looking for ways to benefit companies in the Upstate NY region and when I visited Glen Copack, I was impressed by the cleanliness, the systems that were in place, and the capacity. I also love the idea of supporting a facility that hires people with disabilities. It’s nice to see that they have a workplace to go to everyday and I’ve always wanted to support that.”

Together, this partnership keeps Catskill Provisions in line with their goals of supporting New York State businesses and belief in good causes and it highlights Glen Copack’s pride in working with New York based companies looking to expand their businesses.

“I also love the idea of supporting a facility that hires people with disabilities. It’s nice to see that they have a workplace to go to everyday and I’ve always wanted to support that.”

Claire M Marin

Working With Glen Copack

When asked about her business mission and working with Glen Copack, Claire added that her mission has been to “remain authentic, give back to my local community, and raise funds and awareness to save the bees and other pollinators.” We like that she includes, “I also hope that I’ve inspired others to be brave enough to get out of a job that isn’t fulfilling, to reinvent yourself and follow your dreams! Partnerships like the one we have with Glen Copack make that possible.”

Glen Copack packages a variety of NYS Farm Raised Honey for Catskill Provisions, as well as their ketchup and pancake mixes.

All photos courtesy of www.catskillprovisions.com

“Glen Copack is in line with supporting the community and with helping others and doing good. Being able to fulfill demand of customers and have a consistent product and do good while doing it is one of the biggest reasons why I was drawn to Glen Copack.”

Claire M Marin

Winner of Best NY Honey at the 2019 NYC Honey Fest, Catskill Provisions is a motivated and friendly team making tasty products that Glen Copack feels honored to work with.

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Fall Honey” on the shelf ready to ship from Glen Copack.

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Fall Honey” on the shelf ready to ship from Glen Copack.

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Spring Honey” on the shelf ready to ship from Glen Copack.

Time to Shop!

Visit Catskill Provisions’ online store and pick up a jar of honey today! Glen Copack produces their honey infused ketchup and pancake mixes as well therefore there is a little bit of something for everyone at Catskill Provisions. food.catskillprovisions.com/new-products 

Catskill Provisions also has a lovely holiday pop-up shop happening as well at cpholidaypopup.com/. Get a jump on holiday shopping with a delicious gift for a loved one!

Thank you to the team at Catskill Provisions for providing content for this blog post. A special thank you to CEO, Claire Marin for sharing her experience working with Glen Copack.

The Secret’s in the Sauce

Glen Copack partners with Sorge’s Restaurant to produce their famed Italian pasta sauce.

Photo of Sorge’s Restaurant sign courtesy of Polly Castor, www.pollycastor.com

It’s time to tuck a napkin into your collar because this month we are talking pasta sauce with Sorge’s Restaurant. Located in the heart of Corning, NY, Sorge’s has long been the place for Italian food in the area. This family eatery has been filling bellies and making smiles since Mike Sorge’s parents opened the doors in 1951. Mike and his brother Joseph joined the operation in 1973 and continued on the family legacy.

That’s what you feel when you walk into Sorge’s. Love, family, tradition and community. Glen Copack feels honored to partner with such an important local staple to produce their popular pasta sauce. Let’s dig in.

Sorge’s, A Corning Family Dining Tradition since 1951. www.sorges.com
Facebook: @sorges

When a fire devoured the entire Sorge’s building in 2008, that didn’t stop Mike from continuing the family business. After the fire and his brother’s retirement, Mike and his wife Christine re-opened for business in the spring of 2010. Despite this setback Mike never forgot his goal of producing his family’s pasta sauce for customers to purchase and cook with at home.

Mike mentions that, “pretty much throughout the time period before and after the fire, we had been looking for a cost effective way to bottle and sell our tomato sauce.” Glen Copack is different than bigger food manufacturers. We understand that for small businesses or startups, it is difficult to find a co packer that will pay close attention to detail and care for the product in a way that doesn’t break the bank. That’s why Glen Copack is proud to produce products in small batches which keeps prices manageable. We also do not require large minimum production runs.

“We have recently partnered with Glen Copack and now have the opportunity to sell our sauce to our very appreciative customers!”

Mike Sorge
Sorge’s Italian Pasta Sauce produced and bottled by Glen Copack.

More established businesses such as Sorge’s continue to use our services because of our quality controls and reliability. Mike has found “the sauce production process with Glen Copack to be very professional, efficient, and cost effective.”

Sales Manager for Glen Copack, Kelly Miller, would like to add that “one of my favorite parts of working at Glen Copack is being able to partner with local businesses to help promote their products to their loyal customers. It’s always a pleasure working closely together to produce their popular products the way they have envisioned.”

Photo of Sorge’s Restaurant courtesy of Polly Castor, www.pollycastor.com

If you’re on the fence about producing your special product don’t just take our word for it, listen to Mike Sorge when he says, “I would recommend Glen Copack to any business that is looking for a partner to get bottling done.”

“I would recommend Glen Copack to any business that is looking for a partner to get bottling done.”

Glen Copack enjoys producing for local businesses and is grateful to work with the gem of Crystal City, Sorge’s Restaurant. Please visit their website for more information about their story, menus, and purchasing gift cards at www.sorges.com . Make a reservation today and be sure to ask about the pasta sauce!

If you, or someone you know is looking to produce a product at an affordable rate, share this story along with our website  www.glencopack.org and Facebook page @glencopackmanufacturing.

Thank you to Mike Sorge for contributing to the Glen Copack blog and for being a great client!

We’ve Got the Beet

A look at nutrient rich products for a healthier life from Glen Copack client, Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Anne, a Glen Copack employee, is pictured here holding a freshly produced bottle of Dr. Fuhrman’s Almond Balsamic-Vinaigrette Dressing.

The celebrity doctor fad is something we’ve all seen before. From Dr. Oz to Dr. Phil, to doctors who claim to know which ancient root will lead to long-lasting health. Many scoff at such assertions while some might hop online and purchase book after book about the “it” diet of the day.

Some of us buy excessive amounts of fruits and vegetables in hopes of adopting a vegan diet yet others may opt for a hefty bag of potato chips. We aren’t doctors or dieticians here at Glen Copack but we do know about quality ingredients and sophisticated food production. That’s why we are always happy to work with legendary nutritional scientist and New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman whose products and philosophy are changing the way people understand food and its effect on our bodies and minds.

Not many of us can claim that we “love nutritional science” but Dr. Fuhrman can. As he shares in his popular TED talk, he has seen firsthand how food can be used as medicine to enhance our lives.

He watched his father drastically change his diet to a more nutrient rich philosophy to cope with health issues. It worked.

The term “Nutritarianism” can be credited to Dr. Fuhrman and describes a diet that is rich with nutrients and aimed at preventing diseases and extending the lifespan. Since 2015, Glen Copack has been working with Dr. Fuhrman producing a number of his revolutionary products.

The dressings we produce are organic, vegan, gluten free, and do not include sugar or oil. That may sound like a whole lot of nothing but these products are delicious and guilt free. The list below is all of the products Glen Copack produces for Dr. Fuhrman:

  • Ketchup
  • Almond Balsamic-Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Blueberry-Pomegranate Dressing
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Mushroom Alfredo Sauce
  • Nutty-naise
  • Orange Cashew Dressing
  • Re-packaging Pine nuts
  • Sesame Ginger Dressing
  • Tex-Mex Salsa
  • Thai Curry Sauce
  • Tuscan Herb Dressing
  • Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing
Joyce putting the final touches on a Dr.Fuhrman product with our labeling machine.

We know that it’s difficult to eat well every day, but we can help point you in the right direction. The products we produce for Dr. Fuhrman can lead you towards better health and a happier life.

Visit Dr. Fuhrman’s online shop at https://shop.drfuhrman.com/ and see what products you might enjoy. Changing your perspective on eating is no easy feat so we at Glen Copack want to remind you to be kind to yourself and eat something tasty!

Glen Copack Opens New Kitchen With Help From Jerlando’s

Glen Copack’s two-year effort to create a food co-packing business that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations while providing employment for people with and without disabilities has reached a major completion milestone.

There is a thrill that comes with crossing the finish line after a long race.

Glen Copack’s two-year effort to create a food co-packing business that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations while providing employment for people with and without disabilities has reached a major completion milestone.

We have crossed that finish line. The 6000 square-foot renovation to build a facility with multiple food production spaces was fully realized on August 24 with the first 100 gallon production run of a Jerlando’s Ristorante and Pizza Co.’s pizza sauce.

Our Glen Copack staff was excited to work with Jerlando‘s (located near Glen Copack in Watkins Glen, NY) as the inaugural production in our wet kitchen.

Bill Tague, owner of Jerlando’s in Watkins Glen, examines the filler head and new heat jacket.

The Jerlando’s family was equally excited with multiple members of the family attending and assisting with the production.

The new Glen Copack production space has been designed to allow for multiple simultaneous productions of both wet and dry products with enough space to maintain preventive controls for allergen management and cross contamination prevention.

With all of our resources available and fully operational we are looking forward to growing Glen Copack as the area’s quality food production facility for food entrepreneurs.

Glen Copack Renovations Continue

Glen Copack has undergone an enormous transformation since work began on the facility. Check out our massive new exhaust hood.

Glen Copack has undergone an enormous transformation since work began on the facility December 5, 2018.

Most recently, the exhaust hood for the new kettle was installed. The hood is over 14 feet in length and will be large enough to handle two kettles. One kettle will be in use initially.

The kettle itself will have a 100-gallon capacity. That’s nearly double the size of the current kettle.

The exhaust hood installation was a major undertaking that lasted several days.

The Newest Kitchen

The new wet kitchen provides an improved space for production of low-acid and acidified foods.

The “old” wet kitchen will now be used as a training area for current and future copack employees. As a result, our 60-gallon kettle will continue to be utilized for training and testing new products.

“All of our current projects will move forward to provide more inclusive service options for people within the Schuyler County community. ”

-Arc of Schuyler Executive Director Jeanette Frank
Set up for labeling and shipping out of the facility.

Further construction remains for the “new” wet kitchen. The new kettle will arrive and be installed this summer. Other work will be finished in the meantime.

Dry Fill Kitchen in Full Swing

Meanwhile, our new dry fill kitchen has been fully operational for several months. Multiple products have come out of the new dry manufacturing space. Additionally, good use has been made of ingredient and packaging storage areas in the 5,000 square foot building.

Flexibility is key. The setup of the facility changes to fit our daily production schedule. Whatever is going on takes center stage.

Multiple kitchens means multiple productions can be happening at the same time. Plus, non-food work can be occurring in the other area of the facility.

“You see what they’re trying to do and the vision of connecting the dots, and kudos to Jeannette and her team and the board here for being proactive and to take the economic interests of the community, tie it with the mission of The Arc and put together a win win relationship.”

-United States Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23)

Schedule your test run now or get a hold of us to find out how we can help bring your product to market.

The Arc of Schuyler Receives $20,000 Check from Cargill for Glen Copack

Pictured: Cargill Cares Committee lead, Jerry Dunlavey and Diana Warn present $20,000 check to The Arc of Schuyler’s Director of Business Services, Wendy Shutter and Sales Manager, Kelly Miller.

The Arc of Schuyler hosted a public open house April 16 for its new food manufacturing facility, Glen Copack, at its 203 12th Street location in Watkins Glen.

Cargill storeroom manager and Cargill Cares community lead, Jerry Dunlavey, and Diana Warn presented The Arc of Schuyler a check for $20,000, the first installment of a three-year $60,000 pledge.

The Cargill grant will go towards costs associated with the next phase of The Arc’s Glen Copack project, a safe food production and career readiness-training program. The Arc is collaborating with Watkins Glen School on the program, which will be open to people with and without disabilities. The goal is to help develop a workforce with technical skills and work skills that regional businesses need in entry-level employees.

Director of Business Services, Wendy Shutter and Sales Manager, Kelly Miller received the check on behalf of The Arc of Schuyler.

“Renovations to the facility are almost complete and new equipment has been ordered,” Shutter said. “Once equipment is installed, production capacity will double. The space has been designed to also allow for future expansion.”

Glen Copack is certified by NYS Ag & Markets to produce dry ingredient and acidified and low-acidified food products. The business currently produces about 40 products for a dozen customers including local and international businesses. The facility is about 5,000 sq. ft. and after recent renovations has separate wet-fill and dry-fill kitchens to increase efficiency and capacity. A new GMP Ready Room provides space for employees to participate in training and prepare for work in the secure production area.

The Glen Copack team guided attendees through the new facility and thanked the many grantors and local donors of The Arc’s ongoing capital campaign. Glen Copack is one of the projects supported by the campaign, which has about $100,000 remaining to raise.

Tours are available for those interested by emailing glencopack@arcofschuyler.org or call 607.535.6934.

For more information, visit www.arcofschuyler.org or www.glencopack.org.