Overview - Good Operating Practice (GOP)

Get a general introduction to Good Operating Practice (GOP) and find out how to use this section to develop effective GOP for your food business.

What is GOP

GOP describes a range of actions that, either individually or in combination, contribute to the production of safe and suitable food.

Good Operating Practice may also be described as:

  • Good Hygienic Practice
  • Good Manufacturing Practice
  • Good Agricultural Practice
  • supporting systems
  • prerequisite programmes

GOP clarifies the practices that your business follows to establish an appropriate environment and hygienic conditions for making safe and suitable food. MPI recommends that you have GOP in place and operating effectively before you apply Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) to the direct processes and inputs.

You can find out more about HACCP by following the link below.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)

The difference between HACCP and GOP

GOP procedures are generally facility-wide programmes covering such aspects as personal hygiene, staff training, cleaning and sanitation, allergen management and more. They tend to deal more indirectly with food safety by addressing the issues that can affect the safety of the food as it passes through the business. HACCP manages particular hazards associated with a specific food product (or group of products) and the processes you use.

Who uses GOP

All food businesses are expected to implement GOP. In some cases, legislation requires it to be documented. Sometimes having GOP in place is enough to control all the hazards that might prevent you from providing safe and suitable food.

What you will find here

This section of the website is split into various sub-sections. Use the menu on the left to find your way around.

Applying GOP to your business – describes the process for developing effective GOP for your business and its relevance to meeting your legal requirements.

Documents – find a complete list of the MPI guidance documents for the procedures that are likely to make up your GOP. Reading through the guidance in this section will help you identify which programmes you need to have in place for effective GOP.

What’s new – check this page regularly for important updates relevant to GOP.

Related information

Information specific to GOP is contained in this section. You also need to refer to information relevant to your food sector and any general food safety requirements that you may need to comply with.

General requirements & programmes

Food sectors

Keeping up to date

It's important to keep up to date with any new or revised information about GOP. There are different ways to keep up to date – choose the methods that work best for you:

  • What’s new – Click on What's new in the left-hand menu to read the most recent updates to Good operating practice.
  • Get emails – Sign-up to receive the latest MPI news by email. Click on the Get emails link in the right-hand panel or at the bottom of any page to sign-up for email notifications.
  • Subscribe to feeds – Sign up to receive news feeds. Click on the Subscribe to feeds link at the bottom of any page to add to your list of news feeds.