How to Keep the Pharmaceutical Warehouse Clean
GMP regulations stipulate that warehouses that store raw materials, components, or finished goods must be kept clean and dry at all times.
This includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Protecting the receiving areas from the weather
- Regularly inspect containers and packages to make sure they are sealed correctly
- Regular cleaning of the facility
- Spills must be cleaned up immediately
It is possible that the exterior of inward cargo containers needs to be cleaned before storage.
Protection of goods from deterioration
Protect goods from deterioration
- Keep goods at the temperature indicated on the labels.
- Monitor and alarm refrigerators and freezers.
- Monitoring temperatures in areas where goods require special storage conditions are important.
- Examine all documents and make any necessary changes.
- Examine all possible deviations and determine their impact on product suitability.
Protecting raw materials
Raw materials can deteriorate upon storage and become contaminated if they are not stored correctly. Proper storage conditions are crucial to ensure product purity. There are specific GMP rules that protect raw materials.
- Separate reject and quarantine areas
- The storage environment should be temperature-controlled.
- Keep your goods away from the walls and off the floor.
- Use a system to identify material that is about to expire so it can be retested, if needed.
- Regularly inspect stockrooms for expired stock, cleanliness, cleaning, housekeeping, pest control, and past expiry.
- To protect the environment, seal all containers that have been opened.
- You should ensure that each area of the warehouse is cleaned regularly, including external areas like gangways, shelves, and racking.
Pests that can be attracted to pharmaceutical warehouses include rats and mice, birds, ants, and cockroaches. For example, rodent droppings or bird droppings can cause contamination of stored goods. GMP rules stipulate that manufacturing facilities must have:
- The nominated pest control officer
- Special instructions or agreements with pest management companies
- Maps of bait locations
- Documentation of all pest-control treatments
- Regular waste collection
Companies are required to ensure that employees and the environment are protected from pest control chemicals under OH&S and environmental regulations.
An effective pest control program involves:
- Between pest control company visits, keep track of any pest sightings
- Assigning someone to be with the pest control agent on-site
- Only use approved pesticides
Controlling the air supply to the warehouse
The warehouse connects the outside environment with the inside production facility. The warehouse acts as a barrier against dirt, dust, particles, and moisture from getting into the building.
Warehouses are designed to separate the production areas from the outside. Employees must keep doors closed whenever possible.
Outside air cannot be controlled. The factory can be left open and wind will blow contaminants into it. It is therefore important to keep the outer door closed when not in use. The outer door is the first line of defense for the warehouse and production area.
Here goods are unloaded from the delivery truck and inspected before being moved into the warehouse. This area is protected from dirt and dust by having an outer roller door as well as an inner curtain. It is important to keep the inner barrier and the outer roller door closed at the same time. This is often referred to as the “black” area.
This is where the outer bags and cartons are removed. Do not send goods into this area if they are dirty or damaged.
Although the warehouse isn’t under pressure, it is much cleaner than the reception area. The warehouse should keep goods off the floor and away from walls as moisture can be trapped between concrete walls and floors. The pharmaceutical warehousing should be kept off the floors and away from walls, as moisture can be trapped between concrete walls and floors.
Some companies refer to this area as a “white” (or “clean”) zone where only clean materials can be taken. Most goods are transported to this area on plastic pallets as wooden pallets can be difficult to clean and harbor mold, fungus, and bacteria. To prevent dirt and particles from entering, the production zone is controlled by pressure. It is important to keep the doors between production and warehouse areas shut to preserve positive pressure.
The outer cartons from the truck that arrived before materials were taken to the production area are usually removed. Many companies have different dress codes for moving from a grey to a white zone.