26 Writing Standard Operating Procedures for Your Product
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) are written and implemented to provide instructions for tasks that are done regularly as part of food receiving, storage, production, and testing. These instructions are needed to make sure there is consistency in production and to reduce hazard risks.
Using the reference examples given, list all of the SOPs your product and process would need. Include a short one- to two-sentence description for each SOP in the list.
Then write one full SOP in detail with the format given below (this could be making one component of your product or one unit operation depending on how complex the process is). You can think about an SOP like a detailed recipe that includes the ingredients and amounts (materials) and step-by-step instructions of how the food is made (procedure of how the task is performed). Just add a few more details and the SOP is developed. The one full SOP should be written in enough detail that it could be handed off to another person and that person could successfully complete the task and/or make your product.
Format for One Full SOP
- Purpose—what task are you accomplishing and why?
- Scope – when and where does this task take place?
- Responsibility—who is responsible for making sure the task is completed?
- Materials—what specific items are needed to complete the task?
- Procedure—what are the steps to the task, in order?
- Monitoring—what checks are in place to monitor or check that the SOP was completed?
- Corrective Action—what steps will be taken if the SOP is not completed correctly?
- Verification/documentation—how will you verify that the procedure was completed correctly and what records will you keep?
Additional References Including Examples
- Cornell Dairy Foods Extension Standard Operating Procedures
- FEED Kitchens Standard Operating Procedure Forms
- Penn State Extension Standard Operating Procedures: A Writing Guide
- UMass Extension Vegetable Program Standard Operating Procedures
- University of Minnesota Extension Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)