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Is Laboratory Accreditation required for BRC Certification?


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#1 Loren

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:59 PM

Hi All,

 

Can anyone tell me if we need to have our laboratory be certified first before undergoing a BRC Packaging certification? For those members who are certified with BRC, please tell me if your laboratory are certified, if not, did you received NC?

 

 

Regards,

Lorena

 

 


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#2 Snookie

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:30 PM

I have always used certified labs.  However what "certified" means depends on what your testing.  One of the more common certifications is A2LA ISO/IEC 17065, there are others such as NELAP, proficiency testing, FDA Interstate Milk etc. 

 

I don't know how it would effect points if your lab is not certified.  But they should be going through some type of testing to demonstrate their competency. 

 

If I recall correctly your doing packaging and the most common labs for that kind of testing is Bureau Veritas, Intertek, UL, and I believe SGS.  The first three are all properly certified. 


Edited by Snookie, 06 August 2014 - 06:32 PM.

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#3 teody

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:37 AM

we have both Laboratories (microbiological and chemical tests) and we are BRC. No, our laboratories are not ISO 17025. However, we participate in ring trials or proficiency testing to establish that our methods are aligned and/or reliable. 

 

We do source out services (external tests) for those we are not capable of testing - they have to be accredited (ex: ISO 17025) and included in the Approved Suppliers list - following your approve supplier accreditation program. 

 

WAIT - we are food processor of coconut products by the way - you should refer to BRC standard for packaging. 

 

 

:-)


Edited by teody, 07 August 2014 - 08:38 AM.

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#4 Jurate

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:50 AM

Hi Lorena, 

 

We are Packaging company as well. We have the Lab on site which is not certified and it is ok for BRC if we use it for our Quality Tests etc. We also use the external Lab for the things like Migration Tests etc. 

 

Regards,

Jurate


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#5 MCIAN

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 05:09 AM

Hi Lorena!

 

We have just been certified to BRC IOP. Our internal lab is not certified but we just make sure that the measuring devices are calibrated and the test methods are aligned to international standards. For migration and heavy metal testing, we use an external lab which happen to be the local affiliate of our CB, so no further questions were asked.

 

Regards.

 

:smile:


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#6 Tony-C

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 04:48 AM

Hi All,

 

Can anyone tell me if we need to have our laboratory be certified first before undergoing a BRC Packaging certification? For those members who are certified with BRC, please tell me if your laboratory are certified, if not, did you received NC?

 

 

Regards,

Lorena

 

Hi Lorena,

 

Refer to the BRC Standard for Packaging Clause 5.4.5
Where the company undertakes or subcontracts analyses critical to product safety or legality, the laboratory or subcontractors shall have gained recognised laboratory accreditation or operate in accordance with the requirements and principles of ISO 17025 (General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories).

 

The laboratories do not need to be certified but need to operate as per ISO 17025 principles and demonstrate competency.

 

Most internal laboratories are not certified but do use things like ring trials to demonstrate competency.

 

For subcontract laboratories I would expect to see them certified to demonstrate their competency.

 

Regards,

 

Tony
 


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#7 Loren

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 10:55 PM

Hi Everybody,

 

Thank you so much for your clarification. It's nice to hear from people with real experience.

 

By the way, on one of my previous post I said we don't have HR Manager (for those who remember  )..We already have one, HR and Safety person in one. So I'm more positive now that someone can help me pushed the requirements :spoton:.


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#8 Loren

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:00 PM

Hi Lorena!

 

We have just been certified to BRC IOP. Our internal lab is not certified but we just make sure that the measuring devices are calibrated and the test methods are aligned to international standards. For migration and heavy metal testing, we use an external lab which happen to be the local affiliate of our CB, so no further questions were asked.

 

Regards.

 

:smile:

 

 

Hi MCIAN,

 

I came from the Philippines, congratulations on your certification. I'm proud of you! Thank you for the information. Wish I could visit your plant if I get a chance to go home :giggle: ... (if there's a way of knowing what company are you working)


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#9 Loren

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:02 PM

Hi Lorena, 

 

We are Packaging company as well. We have the Lab on site which is not certified and it is ok for BRC if we use it for our Quality Tests etc. We also use the external Lab for the things like Migration Tests etc. 

 

Regards,

Jurate

 

Hi Jurate,

 

Would you mind to give me the Laboratory name where you have your Migration Test done?

 

Thanks!


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#10 Loren

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:04 PM

Hi Lorena,

 

Refer to the BRC Standard for Packaging Clause 5.4.5
Where the company undertakes or subcontracts analyses critical to product safety or legality, the laboratory or subcontractors shall have gained recognised laboratory accreditation or operate in accordance with the requirements and principles of ISO 17025 (General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories).

 

The laboratories do not need to be certified but need to operate as per ISO 17025 principles and demonstrate competency.

 

Most internal laboratories are not certified but do use things like ring trials to demonstrate competency.

 

For subcontract laboratories I would expect to see them certified to demonstrate their competency.

 

Regards,

 

Tony
 

 

Thank you Tony!


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#11 Jurate

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:36 AM

Hi Jurate,

 

Would you mind to give me the Laboratory name where you have your Migration Test done?

 

Thanks!

 

Hi Lorenab,

 

We've done our tests in Campdem BRI group, which based in UK. They are UKAS acredited, which is good. All what you need to do - send them the samples of 10cm2 of each type of the material (we choice the ) and tell them for what type of food the packaging will be used and they know what tests in what simulants has to be carried out. Let me know if you need more info regarding tests - I know a lot as I wanted to understand all what we need to do to comply with the legislation (EU 10/2011).

 

Regards,

Jurate


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#12 ElzaanRetief

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:21 PM

Hi

 

We are BRC certified and we have an uncertified laboratory onsite.  It is probable best to join a proficiency scheme in order to show that the methods you use are standard.  All our instruments are calibrated or serviced annually and we have extra control measures to ensure that we are within specification.  We have a lot of parameters we cannot test in the lab so when I use external laboratories, I make sure that they are ISO 17025 certified.  We have not yet had a non compliance so I guess we are on the right track.

 

Regards


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#13 Tony-C

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:08 PM

Thank you Tony!

 

Glad to help! :spoton:

 

Hi Lorenab,

 

We've done our tests in Campdem BRI group, which based in UK. They are UKAS acredited, which is good. All what you need to do - send them the samples of 10cm2 of each type of the material (we choice the ) and tell them for what type of food the packaging will be used and they know what tests in what simulants has to be carried out. Let me know if you need more info regarding tests - I know a lot as I wanted to understand all what we need to do to comply with the legislation (EU 10/2011).

 

Regards,

Jurate

 

Campden! - Yes they are well respected.

 

Hi

 

We are BRC certified and we have an uncertified laboratory onsite.  It is probable best to join a proficiency scheme in order to show that the methods you use are standard. 

 

No a proficiency scheme verifies the accuracy of your test results.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#14 Loren

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 05:26 PM

Thanks a lot Guys! I'm US based, I'm sure I can find a good one.

 

Regards,

Lorena


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#15 Snookie

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:38 PM

Lorena,

 

I would recommend Bureau Veritas in New York. 


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#16 Snookie

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

 

No a proficiency scheme verifies the accuracy of your test results.

 

Regards,

 

Tony

 

That would be correct as even the best can make a mistake.   But you should worry about a lab that does not do regular proficiency testing.  It is not easy, cheap and demonstrates the skill level to perform the test. 


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#17 Tony-C

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:16 AM

That would be correct as even the best can make a mistake.   But you should worry about a lab that does not do regular proficiency testing.  It is not easy, cheap and demonstrates the skill level to perform the test. 

 

Perhaps my wording was confusing :uhm:

 

I'm all for proficiency schemes, I was pointing out that they verify the accuracy of the test results and do not 'show that the methods you use are standard'

Regards,

 

Tony


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#18 Snookie

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:41 PM

Perhaps my wording was confusing :uhm:

 

I'm all for proficiency schemes, I was pointing out that they verify the accuracy of the test results and do not 'show that the methods you use are standard'

Regards,

 

Tony

 

Generally speaking, the method is usually specified or you disclose the method used on the documents you submit with the results. 


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#19 Tony-C

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:30 PM

Generally speaking, the method is usually specified or you disclose the method used on the documents you submit with the results. 

 

I'm pretty sure proficiency schemes report on the accuracy and reliability of your test results and not comment on/scrutinize your test methods.

 

Can you provide some evidence to support your post?

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#20 Snookie

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:28 PM

Not any more as have not been in the lab for a long time, but anytime we did proficiency testing you either identified the method or the method was mandated. 


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#21 KevinB

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

 We are not yet certified but do have an internal lab on site. Our certified 3rd part lab sent us to American Proficiency Institute for proficiency testing for our  lab. 

 

Kevin


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#22 Snookie

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:22 PM

They are A2LA certified so they should be good. 


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#23 fgjuadi

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 06:36 PM

My 2 Cents -

 

Primarily proficiency schemes are needed for in house testing results with methods that are already standard  - it can be hard to get a good number of participants (generally need 15) for a small company, so if you can get on board with a 3rd party, you have to wait for their rounds-   Proficiency schemes measure how well you follow the method in the scheme - you choose both the analyte and the method.  This will generally not be a method you've developed yourself.  It must be method specific because different methods give results in different units ( Thinking about E Coli - you must pick if you are using Quanitray or MUG Agar to indicate if you are going to report in MPN or TPC)

 

 

You can also use proficiency schemes to determine / scrutinize your test methods -

 

Look at Iso 5725 for the standard for testing accuracy, but all most every PT place will have this service listed under Bespoke / Customized PT services.   I've never done it but I'd imagine it would be 1) Costly and 2) useful only if you had a proprietary method.  It will tell you if everyone in the PT is getting the same results, if these fall wihin ISO repeatability standards, etc.

 

OP- it you want a method that is standard, use a method verified by AOAC (Chemistry) http://methods.aaccnet.org/ or FDA/ BAM (Micro, listed under AOAC)  http://www.fda.gov/f.../ucm2006949.htm


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