The seventh issue of its BRC Global Standard for Food Safety followed a consultation to understand stakeholders’ requirements, and a review of emerging issues in the food industry.
Information has been developed and reviewed by working groups representing food manufacturers, retailers, food service companies, certification bodies and independent technical experts.
Revised edition’s areas of attention
The focus of attention for Issue 7 is around continuing to ensure consistency of the audit process, providing flexibility to include additional voluntary modules to reduce the audit burden and encouraging sites to use systems to reduce their exposure to fraud.
It also targets greater transparency and traceability in the supply chain and adoption to improve food safety in small sites and facilities where processes are still in development.
FoodQualityNews has contacted BRC to get more information on the standard.
BRC Global Standards is a safety and quality certification program, used by over 22,000 certificated suppliers in 123 countries.
Issue 7 has been developed to specify the food safety, quality and operational criteria within a food manufacturing organisation to fulfil legal compliance and protection of the consumer.
It is designed to allow an assessment of a company’s premises, operational systems and procedures by a competent third party, the certification body, against requirements of the standard.
Certification enables customers to have confidence in their suppliers, and allows suppliers to show they are maintaining high standards of safety, quality and legal compliance, said BRC.
Continued HACCP emphasis
Requirements of Issue 7 place continued emphasis on management commitment, a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-based food safety programme and supporting quality management system.
BRC said the objective has been to direct the focus of the audit towards good manufacturing practices within the production areas with increased emphasis on areas which have traditionally resulted in recalls and withdrawals (e.g. label and packing management).
David Brackston, BRC global standards technical director, said the standard was based on previous issues while ensuring that it reflects the latest best practices.
“The consultation with the users of the standard set the main focus for the rewrite which was to reduce the need for multiple audits and encourage consistency of the audit process; we believe the working groups have achieved this aim.”