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  1. Achieving FSMA Compliance with BRC Certification

    BRC Food Safety Standard was first published in 1998 and was Food Safety Standard to be benchmarked by the GFSI. The current version of the standard is Issue 7 which was published in January 2015. In Issue 7 the BRC proactively tackled two major issues in the food industry; food fraud/substitution and product labeling.


    This was reflected in the additions to the fundamental requirements* as additional fundamental requirements in Issue 7 were clause 3.5.1 Management of suppliers of raw materials and packaging and clause 6.2 Labelling and pack control.


    * Appendix 1 BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 Fundamental Requirements


    The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is one of the most established and comprehensive food safety standards published. The standard includes requirements in 7 sections (See Appendix 2 for full list of sections/clauses):


    1. Senior Management Commitment
    2. The Food Safety Plan – HACCP
    3. Food Safety and Quality Management System
    4. Site Standards
    5. Product Control
    6. Process Control
    7. Personnel


    Due to the comprehensive nature of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety it is no surprise that a recent study commissioned by the BRC concludes that ‘BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 is almost in complete alignment with the expectations in FSMA’.


    The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most exhaustive reform of food safety laws in the US in more than 70 years. The Act was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It primary aim is to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.


    To assist all BRC Food certificated sites BRC Global Standards commissioned The Acheson Group (TAG) to assess the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 against the final rule for Preventative Controls for Human Food. The results of the analysis show that certification to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 is almost in complete alignment with the expectations in FSMA. Source: BRC website.


    FSMA BRC/TAG Report Conclusion


    As a general observation, TAG has concluded that sites certified under the BRC Food Standard are in a very good position to meet and exceed the requirements Preventive Controls. The systems and documentation required in BRC provide a foundation of information that can be used to complete the analysis on the need for “Preventive Controls” in any operation. In some cases there will be additional documentation, verification validation required to the Preventive Control Rule, however, this should not require significant change to existing BRC based food safety programs. Source: BRC website.


    Also note that the BRC are offering a free webinar The FSMA BRC Connection for BRC Certificated Sites


    The webinar will define the comparison between the Global Standard for Food 7, FSMA Preventative Controls, and how the addendum for certificated sites will work, including audit timelines, protocol and site guidance in satisfying the FSMA PC requirements.


    Appendix 1


    BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 fundamental requirements:


    1.1 Senior management commitment and continual improvement
    2 HACCP - Food Safety Plan
    3.4 Internal Audits
    3.5.1 Management of raw materials and packaging
    3.7 Corrective and preventive actions
    3.9 Traceability
    4.3 Layout, product flow and segregation
    4.11 Housekeeping and hygiene
    5.3 Management of allergens
    6.1 Control of operations
    6.2 Labelling and pack control
    7.1 Training


    Appendix 2


    BRC Global Standard Food Safety Issue 7 Sections/Clauses:


    1.1 Senior management commitment and continual improvement
    1.2 Organisational structure, responsibilities and management authority


    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 fl ow diagram – Codex Alimentarius Step 4
    2.6 Verify fl ow 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 the critical control points (CCPs) – 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


    3.1 Food safety and quality manual
    3.2 Documentation control
    3.3 Record completion and maintenance
    3.4 Internal audits
    3.5 Supplier and raw material approval and performance monitoring
    3.6 Specifications
    3.7 Corrective and preventive actions
    3.8 Control of non-conforming product
    3.9 Traceability
    3.10 Complaint handling
    3.11 Management of incidents, product withdrawal and product recall
    3.12 Customer focus and communication


    4.1 External standards
    4.2 Security
    4.3 Layout, product flow and segregation
    4.4 Building fabric, raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas
    4.5 Utilities – water, ice, air and other gases
    4.6 Equipment
    4.7 Maintenance
    4.8 Staff facilities
    4.9 Chemical and physical product contamination control Raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas
    4.10 Foreign-body detection and removal equipment
    4.11 Housekeeping and hygiene
    4.12 Waste/waste disposal
    4.13 Management of surplus food and products for animal feed
    4.14 Pest control
    4.15 Storage facilities
    4.16 Dispatch and transport


    5.1 Product design/development
    5.2 Product labelling
    5.3 Management of allergens
    5.4 Product authenticity, claims and chain of custody
    5.5 Product packaging
    5.6 Product inspection and laboratory testing
    5.7 Product release


    6.1 Control of operations
    6.2 Labelling and pack control
    6.3 Quantity – weight, volume and number control
    6.4 Calibration and control of measuring and monitoring devices


    7.1 Training: raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas
    7.2 Personal hygiene: raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas
    7.3 Medical screening
    7.4 Protective clothing: employees or visitors to production areas


    Author Biography
    Tony Connor, Chief Technical Advisor, IFSQN


    Tony received an honors degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Durham University before embarking on a successful 20-year career in the UK food industry in a variety of roles including Laboratory Manager, Production Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Technical Manager, Technical Development Manager and Group Technical Manager. Tony qualified as a Lead Audit Assessor in 1994. Since 2009 Tony has been Chief Technical Advisor to the International Food Safety & Quality Network.


    BRC Food Safety Issue 7 Implementation Package
    IFSQN offer a comprehensive documentation package suitable for Food Manufacturers looking to achieve certification to BRC Food Safety Issue 7. All document templates are fully editable to suit your process and are provided by download in standard Microsoft Office formats. Find Out More >>

    • Jun 29 2020 06:08 PM
    • by Tony-C
  2. Consultation launched for BRC Packaging Standard Issue 5

    Issue 4 of the BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials was published 25 Feb 2011 and this consultation document was widely anticipated.


    The BRC/IoP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials is designed for companies who manufacture packaging or packaging materials for food and non-food applications.


    In September 2012 the ‘Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials: Issue 4’ became the first packaging Standard to complete the process of benchmarking by Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The Standard provides focus on quality and functional aspects of packaging which complement the established requirements of factory hygiene.


    The BRC Packaging Standard can be used by any manufacturer producing packaging materials for all types of products - from food to consumer products.


    The Standard splits the packaging industry into five material areas:


    • Glass
    • Paper and Board
    • Metals – cans and foil products
    • Plastics – rigid and flexible materials
    • Wood and other materials


    And also recognises two levels of hygiene risk associated with different types of packaging materials. These are the high hygiene risk category that applies to materials that come into direct contact with food. While non-food packaging is under the low hygiene risk category. The requirements of the Standard are listed separately depending upon the level.


    The consultation document is available from the BRC website with the deadline for submissions being November 30, 2014.


    IFSQN members are invited to discuss the consultation document on the forums.

    • Jun 29 2020 06:33 PM
    • by Simon
  3. BRC Extension of GFSI Scope for Storage & Distribution

    The BRC Extension of scope Benchmarking Application is open for a consultation period of 4 weeks starting on 19th June 2014.


    The benchmarking summary report, benchmarking form and details on how to submit your comments can all be found on the GFSI Website.


    ABOUT BRC GLOBAL STANDARDS BRC Global Standards Storage and Distribution Issue 2
    The Standard was first developed in 2006 to ensure that the quality and safety of products produced in accordance with the BRC Production Standards Food, Packaging and Consumer Products was maintained through the supply chain to the Retailer, Food Service Company or further processor. The Standard covers the Storage and Distribution of products with an emphasis on product safety and maintenance of quality and includes a number of voluntary additional modules covering a range of services such as repacking, inspection, tempering, freezing sometimes undertaken at Storage facilities. The Standard currently has over 750 certificated sites in 32 different countries. The Standard is owned by the BRC and written and managed with the input of a multi stakeholder group made up of Storage and Distribution operators, retailers, food service and certification body representatives.


    The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a business-driven initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. GFSI was launched in 2000 following a number of food safety crises when consumer confidence was at an all-time low. Its collaborative approach to food safety brings together international food safety experts from the entire food supply chain at technical working group and stakeholder meetings, conferences and regional events to share knowledge and promote a harmonized approach to managing food safety across the industry.

    • Jun 29 2020 06:40 PM
    • by Simon
  4. IFSQN Launches Updated BRC System

    Posted Image


    This comprehensive package is designed to assist in achieving BRC Certification and contains extensive implementation tools and unrivaled comprehensive BRC documentation system templates.


    Included in the Package:


    * FSMS Procedures
    * FSMS Record Templates
    * FSMS Implementation Workbook
    * HACCP Manual
    * Interactive HACCP Training & Exam
    * Validation & Verification Records
    * BRC Verification Audit Templates
    * Internal Auditor Training & Exam
    * BRC Training Presentation
    * Laboratory Quality Manual
    * Free online support via e-mail


    As well as documentation being updated this new Implementation Package includes additional management tools.


    New in this product launch:


    * Unannounced Audit Guidance
    * Allergen Management Module & Risk Assessment Tool
    * Supplier Risk Assessment Tool
    * Product Development Module
    * BRC HACCP Calculator
    * Complaint Management Guidelines & Analyzer
    * Extended Internal Audit Training
    * Factory GMP Audit Training
    * Internal Audit Schedule Risk Assessment Tool and Template

    • Jun 29 2020 06:42 PM
    • by Simon
  5. A Ten Step Guide to the BRC Food Safety Standard

    The 10 Fundamental requirements of BRC:


    Management Commitment and Continuous Improvement Clause 1 – Senior management need to demonstrate commitment to meeting the requirements of the BRC standard by provision of sufficient resources, communication, review and taking actions to improve.


    Food Safety Plan - Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Clause 2 – A multi-disciplinary team need to develop a Food Safety Plan based on CODEX HACCP principles that is comprehensive, implemented and maintained. The plan should reference legislation, codes of practice and relevant industry guidelines.


    Internal Audits Clause 3.5 – There needs to be an effective audit system to verify that the food safety quality management system and relevant procedures cover the requirements of the standard, are effective and complied with.


    Corrective Action and Preventative Action Clause 3.8 – Procedures need to be in place to investigate, analyse and correct non-conformances critical to product legality, quality and safety.


    Traceability Clause 3.9 – A system needs to be in place to trace finished products by lot number from raw materials throughout the process to end products and their distribution to the customer. The system should be such that this information can be retrieved within a reasonable timescale.


    Layout, Product Flow and Segregation Clause 4.3.1 – Facilities and equipment need to be designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination of the product and comply with relevant legislation.


    Housekeeping and Hygiene Clause 4.9 - Housekeeping and cleaning standards need to be maintained to achieve the appropriate hygiene standards and prevent the contamination of product.


    Handling Requirements for Specific Materials – Materials containing Allergens and Identity Preserved Materials Clause 5.2 – Procedures need to be in place to control specific materials including allergens and identity preserved materials such that product legality, quality and safety is not affected.


    Control of Operations Clause 6.1 – Procedures need to be in place to verify the effective operation of equipment and processes, in compliance with the food safety plan, so that product legality, quality and safety is assured.


    Training Clause 7.1 – A system needs to be in place to demonstrate that personnel who can affect product legality, quality and/or safety are competent based on qualifications, training or work experience.


    The above guide is not to be taken as a substitute for the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety as Certification cannot be achieved without holding a current copy of the publication. However, if you can begin to think of the 10 fundamental requirements as a foundation that the more detailed requirements are built upon perhaps then your implementation project will not appear quite so daunting.


    Author Biography:


    With over 25 years experience in Quality Management, Tony became a qualified Quality Management System Auditor in 1994 and has been writing ISO 9001 compliant Quality Manuals and extensive Food Safety HACCP Manuals and Systems for 20 years.


    Tony has a wealth of management experience and practical use of Quality Management Systems in the food industry. His management roles have included, Laboratory Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Production Manager, Technical and Processing Manager, Technical Manager, Technical and Development Manager and Group Technical Manager. He therefore has a broad knowledge of departments that operate within a company which is highly valuable when documenting policies and procedures relating to those activities. Not only this but practical knowledge of how to implement systems means that better understanding of company requirements is passed on to each and every employee.


    Tony has written an extensive range of Food Safety Manuals that meet the requirements of GFSI standards such as BRC, SQF, IFS, FSSC 22000 and ISO 22000:


    IFSQN Food Safety Certification Packages

    • Jun 29 2020 06:50 PM
    • by Tony-C