The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is developed by food industry experts from retailers, manufacturers and food service organisations to ensure it is rigorous and detailed, yet easy to understand.
First published in 1998, the Standard is now in its seventh issue and is well-established globally. It has evolved with input from many leading global specifiers.
It provides a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality, and the operational controls for these criteria in the food and food ingredient manufacturing, processing and packing industry.
The BRC Global Standard focuses on:
- The importance of management commitment.
- Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) based food safety programmes.
- Quality management systems.
- Auditing good manufacturing processes – it's not just a paperwork audit.
- Auditing areas which often have the highest rate of product recalls and withdrawals, such as labelling and packing.
- Developing systems to reduce exposure to food fraud.
- Ensuring consistency of the audit process.
- Providing a BRC Global Standard that is portable enough to allow Additional Modules to be added to reduce audit burden.
- Promoting greater resilience, transparency and traceability in the supply chain.
The BRC Global Standard is divided into seven sections:
1. Senior Management Commitment and Continual Improvement
Consistent food safety is the responsibility of everyone within the company; however, the starting point for an effective food safety plan is the commitment of senior management to the implementation of the BRC Global Standard and continual development. This includes providing adequate resources, effective communication, system reviews, actions taken and opportunities for improvement.
2. The Food Safety Plan (HACCP)
The BRC Global Standard requires the development of an effective hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) programme based on the requirements of the internationally recognised Codex Alimentarius system.
3. Food Safety and Quality Management System
This section sets out the requirements for the management of food safety and quality. This includes requirements for product specifications, supplier approval, traceability, and the management of incidents and product recalls.
4. Site Standards
This section sets out expectations for the production environment including the layout and maintenance of the buildings and equipment, cleaning, pest control, waste management and foreign body controls.
5. Product Control
The requirements for product design and development stage including allergen management, product and ingredient provenance, product packaging and product inspection and testing.
6. Process Control
The establishment and maintenance of safe process controls, weight/volume control and equipment calibration, and ensures the documented HACCP plan is put into practice.
This section sets out the standards needed for staff training, protective clothing and personal hygiene.