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BRC unannounced audit - things i might have missed?

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zoelawton

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 12:10 PM

Hi everyone. 

 

We are due our BRC audit soon, (very soon), unannounced. I've handled a few already, however I want to be super ready this year as I've had a lot more responsibility with things since the change over from issue 7 to issue 8. 

 

Just wondering if people would fire over some things they either see often as an auditor, or non-conformance's you've received or just random things i maybe haven't checked or thought of. I really want you to challenge me to test my knowledge. 

 

I know there will be quite a few things as auditors are always one step ahead. We are AA+ and I would be mortified if we dropped down a grade. 

 

(if it helps, we are an egg packing site, low risk)

 

I hope this can be a useful thread for everyone expecting their audits this year!

 

Kindest Regards. 


Edited by zoelawton, 10 June 2020 - 12:11 PM.


Ryan H.

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 12:37 PM

See below for some items that are usually a focus for auditors (this is general and not specific to any audit standard):

 

Master Sanitation completeness?

Completeness of all validation activities (depending on your processes)

Completeness of Maintenance PM forms

Pre-start inspections completeness

Check any active HOLDs you may have, try to close them out

Check any CAPA's you may have and ensure there are at min. expected completion dates for any "open" ones

Ensure you have your latest HACCP review and HACCP Flow verification done

Not sure if your expecting a mock trace exercise in this audit, but perhaps you should prep for that?

 

Perform a facility walk through a couple of days before the audit (in addition to your typical GMP inspections, etc.) and take your Maintenance and Sanitation person with you and check your facility to make sure their is nothing that needs addressed in your facility, like Temp. repairs, dusty overheads, or anything else that may be a problem. 


All the best, 

 

Ryan Heavner 


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Charles.C

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 12:53 PM

Hi Zoe,.

 

If not already familiar, you might be interested to know that every (maybe) 2-3 years BRC issue a highly detailed review of performances achieved at their audits.Broken down IIRC by food categories. Contains listings of the most common sections which cause trip-ups in audits and the average grade levels attained for the various food categories..

 

I think there are 2-3 of these documents available on this Forum (somewhere).

 

Offhand though, I don't recall any particulars for unannounced audits so maybe no recentl issues.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


zanorias

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 05:41 PM

During an audit last spring which was our first since going unannounced and first for issue 8, we were caught out by one thing. When the auditor arrived, we knew they would want to go into the production facility relatively quickly, but we assumed they would go into Low Risk first and follow the process flow from raw material through Low Risk and then go into High Risk first. So we had a bit of an unwelcome surprise when the auditor announced, whilst walking out of the offices towards the production block, that they want to do High Risk first. Looking back, it seems a naive mistake that we went on an assumption that all audits would be like all audits before them. I can't remember now whether the HR first was due to unannounced or issue 8 requirement, I was QA back then and did ask the TM but forget now. Anyway, I know that specific scenario wouldn't apply to your site but my advice would be to consider the unexpected and step back and consider what could change.

 

Also I'd bear in mind the whole Covid situation. Whilst there have been several logical arguments that it isn't (directly at least) food safety related, you never know how the auditor will see it. I had a video call recently with BSA for certification extension and I was surprised at the depth the probed us on Covid response, and asked for several related documents amongst the usual HACCP and records.

 

Good luck with the audit prep, hope it turns out ok 



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pHruit

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 07:05 PM

Also I'd bear in mind the whole Covid situation. Whilst there have been several logical arguments that it isn't (directly at least) food safety related, you never know how the auditor will see it. I had a video call recently with BSA for certification extension and I was surprised at the depth the probed us on Covid response, and asked for several related documents amongst the usual HACCP and records.

Same experience here with the extension process. I'd make sure you have what are potentially H&S / HR type stuff on this all readily to hand (and/or possibly the responsible individuals within your business) as I'd expect to be questioned on it. Assuming that you're going to allow them on to site, they may want to see the basis for this decision - at the moment it's probably far more common for sites to be not permitting any visitors.





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