David Wolf looks at the common pitfalls encountered by many food businesses when undertaking an audit and offers advice on the steps to take to make sure things run smoothly.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the leading trade association for UK retailing. Although the BRC food safety standard began in the UK, it is now recognised as a global standard. There are over 17,000 BRC certified sites worldwide, and a large network of BRC certification bodies in 90 countries. BRC initially developed its Global Standard for Food Safety to help the food industry meet legislative requirements of the EU General Product Safety Directive and the UK Food Safety Act. The BRC Standard provides benefits not only for the retail industry, but also for food manufacturers, importers, ingredient suppliers and the food service industry.
The BRC’s ability to react to changing food safety concerns, meet customer requirements, and yet provide a simple, easy-to-follow process for manufacturers, has resulted in the Standard becoming one of the most popular third party Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification schemes. Updated every three years to reflect changes in thinking or new issues facing the food industry.
BRC version 7 is the latest Standard, covering new areas such as labelling and pack control, and managing suppliers of raw materials.
As a food manufacturing business, you may already be well versed in BRC audits, how they operate and what to expect. Or you may be thinking about BRC for the first time. Regardless of where you are in the ‘Audit Journey’ there are some basic things to think about and practical steps your business can take to help maximise the chances of attaining the highest grade. Achieving the highest BRC audit grade and maintaining it is an excellent marketing tool, and is worth aiming for. And the secret to this is in the preparation.
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