Good manufacturing practice (GMP)

Council of Europe Guidelines on kitchen towels and napkins

Kitchen towels and napkins covered by the Council of Europe Guidelines should be manufactured in compliance with the section on good manufacturing practice (GMP) written by ETS. This is a fundamental part of the product safety assurance measures to protect the health of end users.

A GMP is an extended quality management system designed to assure constant production of products with the required safety profile. There are many different GMP systems in industrial use, covering all kinds of products, but this GMP is designed specifically for kitchen towels and napkins made from tissue paper.
They cover the entire paper production process including converting.

The GMP offers organisational and practical advice on how to manage key factors affecting the product safety. It is based on the relevant principles of a quality management system, such as the ISO 9000 series. It is also based on the relevant principles of a risk management system, such as HACCP.

The cornerstones of the GMP are:

  • the management has to make a strong commitment
  • all personnel has to be trained on their duties and responsibilities
  • a quality management system has to be implemented
  • special attention has to be given to selection of raw material suppliers and assurance that:
    • only raw materials in conformity with the requirements are used
    • the process(es) have to continuously run under controlled conditions
    • all substantial changes in the process(es) have to be validated
    • the process(es) have to be mapped and analysed for potential hazards (meaning biological, chemical or physical agent with a potential to cause harm). Critical control points have to be managed to minimize the hazards
    • finished products have to be labelled so that relevant production data can be traced (further principles on traceability may be adopted)
    • testing, inspection and auditing procedures have to be implemented.

The GMP contains a table of possible hazards and suggested means of prevention for all manufacturing stages generally applied for kitchen towels and napkins.
This is to assist in its practical application.

A comparison between the “tissue” GMP and the GMP which is part of the Council of Europe Resolution on [packaging] paper & board reveals several similarities, but also identifies differences due to the differences in specifications between the Guidelines and the Resolution.

The “tissue” GMP has many similarities to the French “Guide for good manufacturing practice of papers and boards and converted paper and board articles intended for food contact use“, which applies to all kitchen towels and napkins currently sold in France.

(ETS Paperloop – March 24-27, 2003 – Nice)