BRC Global Standards has published the eighth issue of its internationally recognized BRC Global Standard for Food on August 1, 2018, and audits against Issue 8 will begin on 1 February 2019.
The major changes for version 8 are listed below:
The use of monitoring techniques within the factory is an important tool for identifying potential product contamination risks, especially risks associated with micro-organisms (both pathogens and spoilage organisms). Compared with Issue 7, the requirements in Issue 8 have been extensively expanded to encourage sites to develop rigorous monitoring programs, enabling them to take timely corrective action before product contamination occurs.
HACCP/FOOD SAFETY PLAN
Introducing regulatory requirements that incorporate all the HACCP processes outlined by the Codex Alimentarius but using different terminology.
PRODUCT SECURITY AND FOOD DEFENCE
Major revision of the requirements in section 4.2.
Ensuring ‘change control’ at goods receipt. Goods receipt staff need accurate, up-to-date information so that only the correct version of materials (e.g. packaging and labels) are accepted on site
control of on-site printing (e.g. date codes) to ensure that only authorized staff can amend these, and verification that the inputted information is accurate where sites have invested in online verification equipment (e.g. bar code scanners), these need to be set up and tested to ensure that sites can be confident of the control and monitoring they provide during the vertical audit, comparison by the auditor of a sample of product labels with information in the specification and recipe to confirm the accuracy of those labels. The auditor will also inspect the processes used by the site to establish label information.
HIGH-RISK, HIGH-CARE AND AMBIENT HIGH-CARE PRODUCTION ZONES
These requirements have been relocated into a single, newly created section of the Standard (section 8).
Issue 7 introduced a traded goods module for sites that store and sell food products that are not manufactured, processed or packed on site. Issue 8 has incorporated these requirements into the main text of the Standard (section 9). This has the advantage of locating the text within the main document, thus allowing the module to be accredited at the same time as the rest of the Standard.
Section 9 will remain voluntary and any site with applicable products may opt into these additional requirements to demonstrate to customers that good management practices relating to traded products are in place. Sites wishing to be audited to section 9 (the traded products requirements) should notify their chosen certification body in advance of the audit.
INTERIM AUDIT REPORTS
Following each audit, an ‘interim audit report’ shall be uploaded onto the BRC Global Standards Directory. It will be available within 10 days of completion of the audit.
The contents of the interim report will be strictly limited to the date of the audit, details of the audit scope and the non-conformities found. It will not include grading or certification details, as these cannot be established until the site has completed the corrective actions associated with any non-conformities and provided evidence of these corrective actions to the certification body.
The interim report will be available to the site and any organization the site opts to share the report with.
The full report will still be uploaded to the BRC Global Standards Directory within 49 days of the completion of the audit.