Global Food Safety Standard has set the benchmark for over 20 years. Adopted by over 20k sites in 130 countries, and accepted by70%of the top 10 global retailers,60% of the top 10quick-service restaurants, and 50% of the top 25 manufacturers.
Now in its 8th edition, the standard has constantly evolved to protect the consumer. It was the first standard to be GFSI benchmarked, as well as introduce food safety culture requirements, define food fraud, and reduce audit burden through additional modules.
Developed with input from industry, it provides a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality, and the operational controls for these criteria in the food and food ingredient manufacturing, processing and packing industry.
The Standards focus on: encouraging the development of product safety culture; expanding the requirements for environmental monitoring to reflect the increasing importance of this technique; encouraging sites to further develop systems for security and food defense; adding clarity to the requirements for high-risk, high-care and ambient high-care production risk zones; providing greater clarity for sites manufacturing pet food; and ensuring global applicability and bench-marking to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
The Standard sets out the requirements for the manufacture of packaging materials that are used in the production of, and filling operations for, food, hygiene-sensitive consumer products (including cosmetics), raw materials, and other consumer products. The standard is based on a Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment (HARA) supported by management system elements and requirements for site standards.
The Standard has been developed to cover all activities which may affect the safety, quality and legality of the products stored and distributed, and of additional contracted services provided by storage and distribution companies. The standard is based on HACCP principles supported by management system elements and requirements for site and transport standards.
Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCP)
The GFCP Global Standard applies only to the control of gluten in the manufacture, processing, and packing of gluten-free products. These include: processed foods, both own brand and customer branded: ingredients for use by food service companies, catering companies, and food manufacturers; pet foods; cosmetics; natural health products; drugs.Benefits of a gluten-free management system The long-term outcome of the GFCP Global Standard is to promote a systems approach to prevent failures that could harm the public. Correctly applied, a site’s gluten-free management system (GFMS) will provide a very strong level of protection from failure, and if failure does occur, it will enable the rapid identification and management of risks and deviations. Increasing the availability of gluten-free products that conform to regulatory requirements will enable market expansion and should, at the same time, reduce the burden on government enforcement. Consumers will benefit by having increased confidence in their purchases, wider availability, and variety of choice.
The Food Safety standard is the leading Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) scheme, and the most widely accepted by specifiers, brands and retailers.
Manufacturers with the BRCGS certification have many food safety benefits and have been shown to perform better than both non-certified sites, as well as those with other GFSI programmes. A clear point of difference between BRCGS Food Safety and other certification schemes is a compliance programme that provides control over the operational delivery of its certification programmes. This includes delivery partner performance management, and management of auditor competence based on exams and food safety training.
Independent research, carried out by the University of Birkbeck, demonstrates that organizations operating to BRCGS standards improve food safety, operational efficiency, commercial growth, improved profitability and broad-based innovation.
- ✓ Widely accepted and specified by many retailers, manufacturers, ingredients companies, food service organizations and raw material processors worldwide as part of their supplier approval process.
- ✓ Compliance with a standard that is in line with GFSI 2020 requirements, and covered by recognised IAF accreditation
- ✓ Address consumer assurance demands and demonstrate industry best practice by encouraging the development of a product safety culture
- ✓ Demonstrate regulatory compliance
- ✓ Reduced costs of failure
- ✓ Improved business improvement through continual improvement by enhancing root cause analysis and internal audit requirements, as well as access to BRCGS Service Package.
The Global Standard Food Safety has been developed to specify the safety, quality and operational criteria required to be in place within a food manufacturing organisation to fulfil obligations with regard to legal compliance and protection of the consumer. The format and content of the Global Standard is designed to allow an assessment of a company’s premises, operational systems and procedures by a competent third party – the certification body – against the requirements of the Standard.
The Global Standard Food Safety now has more than 20,000 certificated sites in over 130 countries globally.
Issue 8, published in August 2018, and the requirements continue to evolve from previous issues, with a strong emphasis on management commitment, a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-based food safety programme and supporting quality management system.
In this issue, there is also further development of food defence and prevention of food fraud, with expansion of requirement for environmental monitoring of micro-organisms in production facilities.
The continuing objective has been to direct the focus of the audit towards the implementation of good manufacturing practices within the production areas with additional emphasis on areas which have traditionally resulted in recalls and withdrawals (e.g. label and packing management).
What the standard covers
The Global Standard for Food Safety sets out requirements for how processed foods and other products (for example, branded foods; retailer-brand foods; or ingredients used by food service companies, caterers or manufacturers) should be made or prepared. Only products that are manufactured, prepared or stored at the site that’s being audited as part of the certification will apply.
The standard is divided into seven sections:
1 – Senior management commitment and continual improvement
Your senior managers must commit to implementing and continually improving your organisation’s food safety processes.
2 – The Food Safety Plan – HACCP
Having a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan in place allows you to identify and manage any biological, chemical or physical hazards that could make the food you produce unsafe to eat.
3 – Food safety and quality management system
You should implement a system that enables you to produce safe products, meet customers’ expectations and ensure staff are well trained.
4 – Site standards
Sites on which you manufacture or prepare food must be laid out, maintained, cleaned and secured according to strict standards. Your organisation must also meet requirements relating to the control of pests and foreign bodies.
5 – Product control
For your products to be considered safe, you need to demonstrate that you properly manage things such as allergens, provenance and product testing.
6 – Process control
You must implement your HACCP plan from day to day and have effective procedures in place for ensuring you manufacture your products to the correct quality.
7 – Personnel
This part of the standard covers training, protective clothing, and hygiene. You need to ensure that all personnel are equipped with everything they need to carry out their duties in a safe manner.
BRC 7 aims to promote best practice and ensure that organizations are working to strong, consistent standards. By gaining the BRC certification, you can assure your customers that you are highly competent at monitoring and continually improving the quality and safety of your product, and that you’ve taken every possible precaution to prevent problems should quality and safety ever be challenged.
What’s in the latest version?
BRC periodically review and update the standard to reflect changes in food safety laws and any new risks that may have emerged. Issue 7 of the standard was published in January 2015 and contains the following new sections:
Labelling and packaging control
Issue 7 improves requirements around labels and packaging control, with the aim of reducing the number of product recalls caused by incorrect labelling. You must have an effective procedure in place for reviewing your labels whenever you change your product’s recipe or obtain raw materials from a different supplier, for example. If those labels are your customer’s responsibility, you must make sure they have the new information.
You must also have a formal process for ensuring packing lines are using the latest labels.
Managing suppliers of raw materials and packaging
The updated standard now includes packaging as part of the requirement relating to how you manage your raw-materials suppliers. And as well as the usual HACCP risk assessments for allergens, contamination and so on, you must carry out risk assessments for substitution or fraud, and review these at least once a year.
If you have any suppliers who are considered “high risk”, you will need documented proof that they’re effectively managing risks to the quality and safety of the raw materials and operating effective traceability processes.
Exclusions – i.e. when you’re only looking to get certified in a certain area or part of your operation. These situations were found to be causing a lot of confusion in terms of employees being unsure what rules apply to which production lines and so on. Issue 7 has taken away many of the circumstances in which exclusions could be stipulated within audits.
Product authenticity, claims and chain of custody
New requirements in Issue 7 limit the risk of BRC-certified sites purchasing fraudulent or adulterated raw materials.
What are the BRC benefits?
The benefits of BRC certification include the following:
- Protects your brand and your customers
- Allows you to do business with those retailers, manufacturers, ingredients companies and food service organisations who specify certification as part of their approval process
- Helps reduce the number of product recalls, customer complaints and rejected products
- Incorporates food safety management systems and internationally accepted best practice to ensure the safety and quality of products
- Audits are carried out by trained and experienced certification bodies working to BRC Global Standards
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety was the first standard to meet the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmark, which means it’s accepted by many of the world’s biggest retailers, such as Tesco and Walmart. Achieving the certification ensures your customers have confidence in your products.
BRC Global Standards in relation to pest control. 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 consistent safety and quality and assist with their ‘due diligence’ defense, 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 INDUSTRY LEADERS – BRC GLOBAL STANDARDS
The BRC Global Standards are industry-leading Technical Standards that specify requirements to be met by an organisation to enable the production, packaging, storage and distribution of safe food and consumer products.
The current relevant standards are the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (Issue 7), the BRC Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials (Issue 5), and the BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution (Issue 3).
Many UK, North American and many European retailers, and brand owners will only consider business with suppliers who have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard.
ACHIEVE BRC GLOBAL STANDARDS PEST CONTROL REQUIREMENT
Certification to a Global Standard, which is achieved through audits by third party Certification Bodies, reassures retailers and branded manufacturers of the capability and competence of the supplier, and reduces the need for retailers and manufacturers to carry out their own audits, thereby reducing the administrative burden on both the supplier and the customer.
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