BRC v6 – A Quick 6 Monthly Review

The BRC Global Food Safety Standard Issue 6 has been audited against now for over 6 months. The writer thought it would be useful to look back over the last 6 months and see where some of the big issues have been with implementing the new standard.

  1. ROOT CAUSE.

Root Cause is now well integrated within the standard with now the requirement to identify Root Causes from the non compliances raised during the BRC evaluation, to identify Root Causes from the general corrective actions and to identify Root Causes for any complaint raised.

The failure is for some companies not identify root causes or document something which they think is a root cause but isn’t.

  1. RISK ASSESSMENT

There have always been elements of risk assessment within the BRC Standard however there is a requirement now in various sections which clearly state there should be a risk assessment. To name a few; Security, Raw Material, Allergens, Foreign Bodies all require some sort of risk assessment.

Some companies have not documented their risk assessments or have the false belief they do not need to it as their HACCP mentions raw material or that they have a security policy. None of these are the same as a clear documented risk assessment where you identify the potential risks, rate them and identify the controls required to reduce the risk.

  1. SERVICE SUPPLIERS

Generally speaking most companies seem to understand Supplier Approval when it comes to raw material and packaging. However there seems to be more work required in ensuring relevant contracts specific to food safety or agreements are in place.

  1. PRODUCT ZONES AND RISK CATEGORIES

There has been slight confusion with some companies in what risk category their product is and even if they can produce products from different risk categories in the same area.

Even although the BRC have drawn up a very helpful decision tree to help people identify the risk category of their products. Thankfully the confusion isn’t between low risk and high risk but more between high care and high risk with some people thinking their high risk product is a high care one or that the requirements of high care is suitable for their high risk product.

SUMMARY

This is has just been some of the areas where the writer thought it would be helpful to document some of the issues being identified. Please note that these issues are very general and would not apply to every company.

In this article we have only addressed 4 points from a very comprehensive standard. Obviously there are many other issues which we will highlight is further articles so please stay tuned.

NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Burne is a Director of Global Food Consultancy Ltd. He is an approved BRC auditor and carries out BRC evaluations against the BRC Global Food Safety Standard Issue 6. Andy Burne also carries out consultancy for companies looking to implement the BRC standard in their manufacturing process.

For more information on BRC or the consultancy he offers please go to Global Food Consultancy website.

About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.