The BRC standard – Food Quality and Safety

Created and published for the first time in 1998, the BRC (Global Standard for Food Safety) standard is in version 6. It defines safety and quality of production criteria required by within a food company to comply with the law and protect the consumer. He is recognized by GFSI.

This latest version places special emphasis on management commitment, a HACCP-based food safety program, and an associated quality management system. It also develops aspects of suppliers’ management, foreign material and allergen control in order to focus the audit on GMP in production areas.

The Global Standard for Food Safety is a creation and property of the British Retail Consortium. The BRC has also developed three other auditing standards for Packaging and Packaging Materials, Storage and Distribution and Consumer Products.

Certification audits for BRC

BRC audits are conducted either in a single unannounced or planned visit, or on a split visit in which case the first part is unannounced and relates to good manufacturing practices while the second part is planned, announced and focuses on systems, registrations and procedures.

BRC has requirements including so-called fundamental clauses, the non-compliance of which corresponds to a major nonconformity resulting in either the rejection of the certification to an initial audit or the cancellation of the certification during the follow-up audits. Listed below are these clauses:

  • Management Commitment and Continuous Improvement – Clause 1.1;
  • Food Control Plan – HACCP – Clause 2;
  • Internal Audits – Clause 3.4;
  • Corrective Actions – Causes 3.7;
  • Traceability – Clauses 3.9;
  • Premises layouts, product flow and separation – Clause 4.3;
  • Maintenance and hygiene – Clause 4.11;
  • Allergen Control – Clause 5.2;
  • Control of operations – Clause 6.1;
  • Training – Clause 7.1.

Benefits of BRC Certification

BRC certification has several benefits, including:

  • Worldwide recognition and a certificate that can be accepted by customers to the point of giving up their own audits;
  • Recognition by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI);
  • Broad scope (quality, safety and hygiene of products) and unique protocol for credible third-party audit of said food and feed safety system quality of a business;
  • Appearance in the public directory of the BRC offering visibility, therefore a marketing advantage;
  • Option diversity of audits, on the one hand unexpected or planned to reassure customers, and on the other flexible according to the functioning and the maturity of the company’s system candidate for certification;
  • Continuous monitoring that provides a framework for self-improvement of the system.

    New grants have been issued for the implementation of a GFSI standard in food processing companies.

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