The British Retail Consortium or BRC is a GFSI-benchmarked food safety standard certification that demonstrates the commitment of any food and beverage company to the industry. Companies undergo third-party audits against the standard requirements performed by an accredited certification body (CB) to obtain this certification. Currently, the BRC standard for food and safety is separated into nine sections:
- Senior management commitment
- Food safety and quality management system
- Food safety plan (HACCP)
- Product control
- Site control
- Process control
- High-risk, high-care, and ambient high-care production risk zones
- Requirements for traded products
The assessment of a company’s adherence to its food safety standard is known as a BRC audit. During this audit period, an auditor from an accredited certification body will come and will thoroughly check your manufacturing facility, records, documentation, and process documentation across the above mentioned nine sectors.
A BRC certification helps in brand credibility, global recognition, and makes the products cost-effective.
Preparing for a BRC audit
To prepare your facility for a BRC audit, companies must keep up-to-date records and follow some simple steps:
- Performing self-assessments are effective ways to check for any food safety or quality issues before the audit begins
- Choosing a good and well-known CB is a must
- Schedule a date for the audit to begin
- Present your senior management team for the opening and closing of the audit
- Ensure all documents are ready and up-to-date and centralize them in a single place
- Access a traceability test beforehand
Expectations from a BRC audit: A typical BRC audit takes two to three days to complete, during which you can expect:
- Auditors will seek and analyze the root cause of any non-conformities, thus make sure to address them thoroughly to prevent future problems.
- Auditors will seek proof if the HACCP plan is correct, thus, keeping precise records is very important for a BRC certified facility.
- BRC requires Food and beverage companies to audit their own processes to achieve good remarks in their ongoing audit, thus making corrective actions must be in place.
- Focus on high-risk zones and old facilities as they can play a key role in cross-contamination during the audit.
- Provide effective cross-training, hands-on classes to permanent employees to provide an understanding of the regulations and the facility itself.
- Allergen raw materials will be checked by the auditors for their proper labeling and handling.
BRC certified printers like Netpak provide you with the utmost regulatory standards.
Jeff Morgan is currently associated with NetworksGrid as a technical content writer. Through his long years of experience in the IT industry, he has mastered the art of writing quality, engaging and unique content related to IT solutions used by businesses.