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Question mark hangs over quality of BRC safety audits

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Cathy

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 01:04 AM

Anyone else see this article? Your opinions would be interesting...thanks

http://www.foodprodu...n=RSS Text News


Cathy Crawford, HACCP Consulting Group
http://haccpcg.com/

Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:53 AM

Hi Cathy,

That is an interesting read. Thanks for sharing it .

Here in Australia our supermarkets approve if you are SQF 2000 or BRC certified and in addition they also need to satisfy their own quality standard. It is just very hard for audtors to concentrate on the various standards when they are condusting multi standard audits at the same time.

Ajay


Dr Ajay Shah.,
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Managing Director & Principal Consultant
AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd
www.aasfood.com


GMO

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:34 AM

I think there's been a similar topic before and it's a question which comes up repeatedly.

On supermarkets having their own standards; this is annoying, yes but I can understand it if you think about parallels with your own business. Imagine you've had a recall or a near miss in one factory and realise there is a gap in the FSQMS at all sites which isn't currently audited? You would change the FSQMS at all sites and audit it right? Now imagine you'd have to wait for that change for a couple of years and when you do ask for that change it gets watered down by other decision makers... That's why the supermarkets have their own standards.

The other point on quality of auditing is, in my opinion, a valid one. I've never come across a BRC auditor who was as thorough as I'd want them to be. There is in general a lack of tenacity and really driving into a system when non conformity (or a hint of it) is seen. That said, in general, establishments who pass a BRC audit are, in general making safe food IMO so in that respect irrespective of whether the auditing is perfect, it's working. You will always get variation in auditor quality, just as you get variation in Technical Manager quality. One solution, albeit an expensive one would be to have two auditors. Two people are much less likely to miss something or get swayed by impressive presentation and "stage management" than one (we all know that factories do it people.)

The real value of BRC to me is earlier in the supply chain. As I said previously, I feel fairly confident that factories passing BRC are making safe food. Although in some higher risk ingredients you still may decide to audit yourself, having BRC certification for lower risk ingredients is helpful I think.



Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:25 AM

It is an expensive proposition to have two auditors as the cost will be phenomenal. It is ok for multinational companies where one would expect two auditors but for a medium sized company it is only viable to have one auditor to wear a few hats on the day.

In Australia I feel it is a bit over the top with all the audits as we are a small nationa with a small population comapred to UK.

I am happy either with BRC or SQF 2000 as I feel comfrtable with both systems.


Dr Ajay Shah.,
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AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd
www.aasfood.com


Charles Chew

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:32 AM

It is an expensive proposition to have two auditors as the cost will be phenomenal. It is ok for multinational companies where one would expect two auditors but for a medium sized company it is only viable to have one auditor to wear a few hats on the day.

In Australia I feel it is a bit over the top with all the audits as we are a small nationa with a small population comapred to UK.

I am happy either with BRC or SQF 2000 as I feel comfrtable with both systems.


I agree with you that the cost of audit can be over the top if two auditors were to audit against two different reference standards when indeed most private food safety standards have clear overlapping similarity in requirements (with a few exceptions perhaps).

Food safety standards have matured so much over the years that IMHO, a BRC or SQF registered Auditor is fully capable of auditing two different reference standards simultaneously. Its really a matter of having an effective audit plan. But then again - CBs are also very profit conscious and will more than likely to take the fullest advantage of an integrated audit to maximise their profits. I think this is not fair to the client and tend to inhibit global harmonization of food safety standards. So which is the priority. CBs pushing for wider global acceptance of food safety through reasonable certification cost or expensive certification to maximize profits. Maybe we should have a vote on this subject.

Cheers,
Charles Chew
www.naturalmajor.com

Ken

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 02:34 PM

A topic that has been raised in these forums before. I conduct internal audits for several of my clients - their certification audit takes one and a half days and my internal audits take a minimum of 4 days. It isn't necessarily the quality of the auditor but one of time vs the scope of the audit.

If you a have a standard who scope is as wide as the BRC Global Food Standard and one and half days to complete the audit, it isn't going to challenge the system too much - there isn't enough time.

However, I'm sure that auditors will still differentiate between a company who produces safe products from one who produces an unsafe product. Given more time the auditor may have sufficient objective evidence to raises more non conformances against the standard.



GMO

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 05:30 PM

I agree with your point Ken. A 4 day audit would presumably be double the cost of a 2 day (as would having two auditors). I think if it really did cut down on other audits it would be worth the cost.



Tony-C

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 05:16 PM

Anyone else see this article? Your opinions would be interesting...thanks

http://www.foodprodu...n=RSS+Text+News


Article from someone with some knowledge?, authority? an expert?

Jo Head, a quality management consultant





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