The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8 was published on 1st August 2018 and is effective for audits from the 1st February 2019. The standard is still based on the following core elements:

  • Senior Management Commitment
  • HACCP/Food Safety Plans
  • Food Safety Quality Management System
  • Prerequisite programmes – general control of hazards covering good manufacturing and good hygienic practice as detailed sections 4 to 8.
The sections in the standard are as follows:

  • 1 Senior management commitment
  • 2 The food safety plan – HACCP
  • 3 Food safety and quality management system
  • 4 Site standards
  • 5 Product control
  • 6 Process control
  • 7 Personnel
  • 8 High Risk, High Care and Ambient High Care Production Risk Zones
  • 9 Requirements of the traded goods

The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety requirements are described in great detail in 9 sections throughout the standard. Some of the requirements may not be appropriate to all organisations, however, the standard does stipulate 12 fundamental requirements without which certification cannot be achieved.

The 12 Fundamental requirements of BRC:

Senior management commitment and continual improvement (1.1)

Senior management need to demonstrate commitment to meeting the requirements of the BRC standard by provision of sufficient resources, communication, review and taking actions to improve.

The food safety plan – HACCP (2)

A multi-disciplinary team need to develop a Food Safety Plan incorporating CODEX HACCP principles that is comprehensive, implemented and maintained. The plan should reference legislation, codes of practice and relevant industry guidelines.

Internal audits (3.4)

There needs to be an effective audit system to verify that the food safety quality management system and relevant procedures cover the requirements of the standard, are effective and complied with.

Management of suppliers of raw materials and packaging (3.5.1)

An effective supplier approval and monitoring system must be put in place to ensure that any potential risks from raw materials (including primary packaging) to the safety, authenticity, legality and quality of the final product are understood and managed.

Corrective and preventive actions (3.7)

It is necessary to uses the information from identified failures in the food safety and quality management system, conduct root cause analysis and to make necessary corrections and prevent recurrence.

Traceability (3.9)

A system needs to be in place to trace finished products by lot number from raw materials throughout the process to end products and their distribution to the customer. The system should be such that this information can be retrieved within a reasonable timescale.

Layout, product flow and segregation (4.3)

Facilities, product flow and equipment need to be designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination of the product and comply with relevant legislation.

Housekeeping and hygiene (4.11)

Housekeeping and cleaning standards need to be maintained to achieve the appropriate hygiene standards and prevent the contamination of product.

Management of allergens (5.3)

System need to be put in place for the management of allergenic materials to minimise the risk of allergen contamination of products and meet legal requirements for labelling.

Control of operations (6.1)

Procedures need to be in place to verify the effective operation of equipment and processes, in compliance with the food safety plan, so that product legality, quality and safety is assured.

Labelling and pack control (6.2)

Controls of product labelling activities must ensure that products are correctly labelled and coded – this requirement is specifically introduced to tackle the main cause of product recalls/withdrawals, the labelling and packing of products.

Training: raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas (7.1)

A system needs to be in place to demonstrate that personnel who can affect product legality, quality and/or safety are competent based on qualifications, training or work experience.