Getting Started: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Management

Getting Started: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Management

What is an SOP? 

The core of any food manufacturer’s Preventive Control (PC) / Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan are the facility’s prerequisite programs. The foundation of each prerequisite program is its corresponding Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

An SOP is a set of written instructions that document a food manufacturer’s routine or repetitive activity. Specific to food manufacturing plants, the term SOP is commonly applied to production, manufacturing, and support area processes, jobs, or activities. For all sanitation-related processes, jobs, or activities, the term SSOP (Sanitation SOP) is used.

The development and use of SOPs / SSOPs are integral parts of a successful food safety, quality and sanitation system, as they provide individuals with the information required to properly perform their jobs. Furthermore, the use of SOPs and SSOPs promotes quality through consistent implementation of a process, task or job. Also, if clearly written, SOPs and SSOPs can minimize miscommunication and variation between individuals or organizations.

You can find a blank template and more information here.

Using the ConnectFood Software to Develop & Manage your SOPs: 

Part of your ConnectFood subscription includes the SOP Management tool and the ConnectFood SOP Library. To get started, navigate to the "Operations" tab from your ConnectFood dashboard and click the "Procedures (SOPs)" tab as shown below.After you have selected "Procedures (SOPs)," you'll click the green "Create Procedure" button.
The following options will pop up for you to select from:

1. New Procedure
2. Copy From My Facility SOPs
3. Copy From ConnectFood SOP Library 

Starting a New Procedure:

If you select "New Procedure," the next page that will pop up will ask you to fill in required information regarding the procedure, including: Procedure Title, Scope & Introduction, Frequency, Role Responsible for Implementing SOP, Procedure Instructions, and Corrective Actions. 

The information entered should reflect how your facility operates - this is how you describe the daily operations to keep things running safely and smoothly. 

Selecting a Procedure from the ConnectFood SOP Library:

ConnectFood has complied a library of many popular and standard SOPs for you to select from that can be selected and loaded into your account as part of your food safety documentation. Selecting the "Copy from ConnectFood SOP Library" option will open up the list of available templates. 
PLEASE NOTE: If you choose to select one of the pre-existing templates, you are responsible for making applicable edits to the provided content to ensure the SOP reflects the accuracy of your facility's actions and procedures.

After selecting one one of the SOP templates, you'll notice that some or all information for Procedure Title, Scope & Introduction, Frequency, Role Responsible for Implementing SOP, Procedure Instructions, and Corrective Actions are populated with standard information. 

Access Your SOP Report

After you have completed entry of your facility SOPs, you may access your SOP Report from navigating to the "Reports" tab, locating the "SOP Report," and selecting "View Report."
The report will include:
1. An index of the Procedures included within the report,
2. An overview of the information provided in the Procedures including: Procedure Title, Scope & Introduction, Frequency, Role Responsible for Implementing SOP, Procedure Instructions, and Corrective Actions.


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