BRC Global Standards for Food Safety
The BRC Global Standards for Food Safety has been developed to specify the safety, quality and operational criteria required to be in place within a food manufacturing organization to fulfill obligations with regard to legal compliance and protection of the consumer. The format and content of the Standard is designed to allow an assessment of a company’s premises, operational system and procedures by a competent third party – the certification body – against the requirements of the Standards.
In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC), responding to industry needs, developed and introduced the BRC Food Technical Standard to be used to evaluate manufacturers of retailers own brand food products. It is designed to assist retailers and brand owners produce food products of consistant safety and quality and assist with their ‘due diligence’ defence, should they be subject to a prosecution by the enforcement authorities. Under EU food Law, retailers and brand owners have a legal responsibility for their brands.
The Global Standards for Food Safety sets out the requirements for the manufacture of processed foods and the preparation of primary products supplied as retailer branded products, branded food products and food or ingredients for use by food service companies, catering companies and food manufacturers.
The requirements of the Issue 6 standard are an evolution of the previous issues with a continued emphasis on management commitment, an HACCP-based food safety programme and supporting quality management system. In this issue some clauses have been merged, with other expanded, most noticeably supplier management, foreign body management and allergens management. The objective has been to direct the focus of the audit towards the implementation of good manufacturing practices within the production areas. Colour coding of requirements has been introduced to highlight clauses which would normally be expected to be audited in the factory.
An unannounced audit programme has been developed with two options to provide choice and facilitate practical solution to unannounced audit.
The new enrolment programme has been introduced to encourage the development for best food safety practice in factories where food safety is still developing. This scheme, which starts with registration to the BRC Directory, allows the recognition of improvements in food safety by providing scored audit for sites that are not ready for certification. The audit reports and scores can be shared with customers and is intended to enable sites to develop within a framework that will eventually enable full certification.
Global Standards for Food Safety Issue 6 has focused an attention on:
- Improving consistency of the audit process
- Ensuring the new developments in food safety have been effectively addressed
- Providing more choice in audit options to allow sites to differentiate themselves
- Encouraging adoption of the Standards as a mean of improving food safety in facilities where processes are in development
Certification against Issue 6 has commenced on 1 January 2012.
BRC standards clauses:
1.Senior Management Commitment
1.1 Senior Management Commitment and Continual Improvement
1.2 Organisational Structure, Responsibilities and Management Authority
2. Food Safety Plan – HACCP
2.1 The HACCP Food Safety Team – Codex Alimentarius Step 1
2.2 Prerequisite Programmes
2.3 Describe the Product – Codex Alimentarius Step 2
2.4 Identify Intended Use – Codex Alimentarius Step 3
2.5 Construct a Process Flow Diagram – Codex Alimentarius Step 4
2.6 Verify Flow Diagram – Codex Alimentarius Step 5
2.7 List All Potential Hazards Associated with Each Process Step, Conduct a Hazard Analysis and Consider Any Measures to Control Identified Hazards – Codex Alimentarius Step 6, Principle 1
2.8 Determine Critical Control Points – Codex Alimentarius Step 7, Principle 2
2.9 Establish Critical Limits for Each CCP – Codex Alimentarius Step 8, Principle 3
2.10 Establish a Monitoring System for Each CCP – Codex Alimentarius Step 9, Principle 4
2.11 Establish a Corrective Action Plan – Codex Alimentarius Step 10, Principle 5
2.12 Establish Verification Procedures – Codex Alimentarius Step 11, Principle 6
2.13 HACCP Documentation and Record Keeping – Codex Alimentarius Step 12, Principle 7
2.14 Review the HACCP Plan
3. Food Safety and Quality Management System
3.1 Food Safety and Quality Manual
3.2 Documentation Control
3.3 Record Completion and Maintenance
3.4 Internal Audit
3.5 Supplier and Raw Material Approval and Performance Monitoring
3.7 Corrective Action
3.8 Control of Non-conforming Product
3.10 Complaint handling
3.11 Management of Incidents, Product Withdrawal and Product Recall
4. Site Standards
4.1 External Standards
4.3 Layout, Product Flow and Segregation
4.4 Building Fabric
4.5 Utilities – Water, Ice, Air and Other Gases
4.8 Staff Facilities
4.9 Chemical and Physical Product Contamination Control
4.10 Foreign Body Detection and Removal Equipment
4.11 Housekeeping and Hygiene
4.12 Waste and Waste Disposal
4.13 Pest Control
4.14 Storage Facilities
4.15 Dispatch and Transport
5. Product Control
5.1 Product Design / Development
5.2 Management of Allergens
5.3 Provenance, Assured Status and Claim of Identity Preserved Materials
5.4 Product Packaging
5.5 Product Inspection and Laboratory Testing
5.6 Product Release
6. Process Control
6.1 Control of Operations
6.2 Quantity – Weight, Volume and Number Control
6.3 Calibration and Control of Measuring and Monitoring Devices
7.2 Personal Hygiene
7.3 Medical Screening
7.4 Protective Clothing
Principles of the Global Standard for Food Safety
A food business must have a full understanding of the product produced, manufactured and distributed and have systems in place to identity and control hazards significant to the safety of food. The Global Standards for Food Safety is based on two key components: senior management commitment and HACCP. Within a food business, food safety must be seen as a cross-functional responsibility, including activities that draw on many departments using different skills and levels of management expertise in the organisation. Effective food safety management extends beyond technical departments and must involve commitment from production operations, engineering, distribution management, procurement of raw materials, customer feedback and human resource activity such as training.
The Global Standard for Food Safety requires the development of food safety plan based on HACCP. The Global Standard for Food Safety requires the development of and compliance with:
- Senior Management commitment – the resources required for demonstration of commitment to achieving the requirements of the Standard are detailed in Part 1.
- A HACCP plan – this provides a focus on the significant product and process food safety hazards that require specific control to assure the safety of individual food products or lines as detailed in Part 2
- A Quality Management System – details of the organisational and management policies and procedures that provide a framework by which the organisation will achieve the requirements as detailed in Part 3
- Prerequisite Programmes – the basic environmental and operational conditions in food business that are necessary for the production of safe food. These control generic hazards covering Good Manufacturing and Good Hygienic Practice as detailed in Parts 4-7.
Each clause begins with highlighted paragraph, the ‘statement of intent’, that all companies must comply with in order to gain certification. Product certification depends on continued compliance and within the Standard certain requirements have been designed as ‘fundamental’ requirements. These ‘fundamental’ requirements relate to systems that are crucial to the establishment and operation of an effective food quality and safety operations. Failure to comply with the statement of intent of a ‘fundamental’ clause leads to non-certification at an initial audit or withdrawal of certification at subsequent audit.
BRC Issue 6 Quality Manuals
BRC quality manuals are available for downloading. We have published the BRC Standards Issue 6 Manual. The manual describes how manufacturers will comply with the requirements of the BRC (Issue 6, January 2012) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point). The manual also includes: Codes of Practice; Protocols; Recommended Systems. Our manual covers all the Global Standards aspects with references to the individual quality manuals.
For BRC Issue 7 Quality Manual click here BRC Issue 7 Quality Manual
The BRC Standards Issue 6 (Global Standard for Food Safety, January 2012) Quality Manual has been extended of individual quality manuals. The BRC Standards Issue 6 Manual Pack (283 pages) includes:
BRC Standards Issue 6 (Global Standard for Food Safety, January 2012) Quality Manual and individual manuals.
The BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials – Issue 4
The new, updated Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials: Issue 4 was published in February 2011 with audits commencing against Issue 4 from 1st August 2011. The Standard has been revised to provide greater focus on quality and functional aspects of packaging which compliment the established requirements of factory hygiene.
Maintaining its versatility in food and non-food packaging, the publication will ensure the scheme continues to be a leading global standard adopted by major retailers and packaging businesses around the world. Certification to the Standard verifies technical and functional performance, aids manufacturers’ fulfilment of legal obligations, and helps provide protection to the consumer.
BRC/IOP Global Standard Issue 4 Quality Manuals
BRC/IOP Global Standard quality manuals are available for downloading. We have published the BRC/IOP Global Standard Issue 4 Quality Manual. The manual describes how manufacturers will comply with the requirements of the BRC/IOP Global Standard Issue 4 (August 2011) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point). The manual also includes: Codes of Practice; Protocols; Recommended Systems. Our manual covers all the Standards aspects with references to the individual quality manuals.
For BRC/IOP Global Standard Issue 4 Quality Manual click here BRC/IOP Global Standard