The British Retail Consortium issued its seventh edition of food safety standards which reduce the need for multiple audits, and encourage consistency and more flexibility
London, U.K. – In January, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) published the seventh edition of its BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.
BRC’s global standards are recognized around the world. The standards aim to set a benchmark for good manufacturing practices in food, packaging, storage and distribution, agents and brokers, and consumer products.
The BRC says the seventh edition was developed after a consultation with stakeholders showed a review of the emerging issues in the food industry was needed.
Working groups have developed and reviewed the information. The groups are made up of international stakeholders who represent food manufacturers, retailers, foodservice companies, certification bodies and independent technical experts.
BRC says the focus of this seventh edition has been about:
• continuing to ensure consistency of the audit process
• providing a standard with the flexibility to include additional voluntary modules to reduce the audit burden
• encouraging sites to put systems in place to reduce their exposure to fraud
• encouraging greater transparency and traceability in the supply chain
• encouraging adoption of the standard as a means of improving food safety in small sites and facilities where processes are still in development
The seventh edition of the standard includes a continued emphasis on management commitment, a HACCP-based food safety program and a supporting quality management system.
The objective, says the BRC, has been to direct the focus of the audit towards implementing food manufacturing practices within the production areas with increased focus on areas that have traditionally resulted in recalls and withdrawals (for example, label and packing management).
“The development of Issue 7 has been based on the values of the previous issues while ensuring that the update reflects the latest best practices,” says David Brackston, BRC Global Standards Technical director.
“The consultation with the users of the Standard set the main focus for the rewrite, which was to reduce the need for multiple audits and encourage consistency of the audit process; we believe the working groups have achieved this aim.”
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 is available on BRC Participate, along with the Interpretation Guideline and additional supporting publications.
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