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The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety: A Guide to a Successful Audit

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5796-4
360 pages
October 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety: A Guide to a Successful Audit (1405157968) cover image
"This book offers companies in the food industry the first comprehensive guide to preparing for the Global Standard Audit."
Beverage and Food World, May 2009


The British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety was originally conceived to meet an increasing demand for a unified standard to be used by the major retailers in the UK for their suppliers of "own label" food products. The system has proved so successful that it is now used throughout the food industry, and over 7000 food manufacturers worldwide already have the Standard.

Companies are often unsure about how to approach attaining certification—often a demanding process, especially at the first attempt. Not only are there over 300 clauses to satisfy, there are also general concerns such as how to correct non-conformities within very specific deadlines. Even when their operations are actually quite satisfactory, many suppliers find themselves poorly prepared for the audit and do not perform as well as they might.

This book offers companies in the food industry the first comprehensive guide to preparing for the Global Standard audit. Using over 600 real life examples, it enables manufacturers to ensure that the correct systems are in place to achieve the Standard and present themselves in the best way during the audit process. It also recommends the steps to take following the audit and how to correct non-conformities. The book is an essential resource for suppliers wishing to attain certification for the first time and those already in the scheme seeking to improve their grades. It is also of interest to certification bodies and consultants to the food industry.

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Acronyms xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

Part One Preparation for the Audit 5

Chapter 1 Keys to Success 7

Success 7

Failure 7

Preparation 8

Documented Procedures and Records 8

Evidence 9

Track Record 10

Team Building 10

See Yourselves as Others See You 11

Chapter 2 Familiarity with the Standard 12

Why Choose the Global Standard for Food Safety? 12

The Structure of the Standard 13

Section I: 1. The Introduction 13

Section I: 2. Food Safety Management System 14

Section II: The Requirements 14

The BRC Guideline Series and Other Support Information 15

The Fundamental Requirements 15

Recurring Themes 18

Section III: How to Gain Certifi cation – Understanding the Protocol 21

Unannounced Audits 28

Position Statements 29

Section IV and the Appendices 29

Chapter 3 Planning for the Audit 30

Choosing a Certifi cation Body 30

The Application Form and Contract 35

Agreeing the Scope 36

Registering with the BRC 37

Fixing a Date 38

Key Staff 38

Internal Audit 39

Availability of Records and Other Evidence 39

Facilities for the Auditor 40

Pre-Audits 41

Pre-Audit Checklist 41

Chapter 4 How to Conduct Yourself at the Audit 42

The Format of the Audit 42

Keeping the Auditor Safe 43

Preventing Interruptions 44

Letting the Auditor Lead the Audit 44

Listening to the Question 45

Knowing When to be Quiet 46

Being Positive and Co-operative 46

Consultants 46

Remembering the Obvious 47

Correcting Nonconformities during the Audit 47

The Closing Meeting 47

Part Two The Requirements of the Standard: What the Auditor Will Be Looking For 49

Chapter 5 Clause 1: Senior Management Commitment and Continual Improvement 51

Clause 1 51

Clause 1.1 52

Clause 1.2 52

Clause 1.3 53

Clause 1.4 54

Clause 1.5 54

Clause 1.6 55

Clause 1.7 56

Clause 1.8 57

Clause 1.9 57

Clause 1.10 58

Clause 1.11 59

Clause 1.12 59

Clause 1.13 59

Chapter 6 Clause 2: Food Safety Plan – HACCP 61

Clause 2.0: Food Safety Plan – HACCP 61

Codex Alimentarius 63

Other Aspects 63

Clause 2.1 63

Clause 2.2 68

Clause 2.3 70

Clause 2.4 70

Clause 2.5 71

Clause 2.6 72

Clause 2.7 77

Clause 2.8 79

Clause 2.9 82

Clause 2.10 85

Clause 2.11 86

Clause 2.12 88

Clause 2.13 88

Chapter 7 Clause 3: Food Safety and Quality Management System 91

Clause 3.1: Food Safety and Quality Policy 91

Clause 3.2: Food Safety and Quality Manual 93

Clause 3.3: Organisational Structure, Responsibilities and Management Authority 96

Clause 3.4: Contract Review and Customer Focus 100

Clause 3.5: Internal Audit 102

Clause 3.6: Purchasing 109

Clause 3.7: General Documentation Requirements 113

Clause 3.8: Corrective and Preventive Action 123

Clause 3.9: Traceability 125

Clause 3.10: Complaint Handling 130

Clause 3.11: Management of Incidents, Product Withdrawal and Product Recall 132

Chapter 8 Clause 4: Site Standards 140

Clause 4.1: External Standards 140

Clause 4.2: Security 143

Clause 4.3: Internal Site Standards 146

Clause 4.4: Utilities 165

Clause 4.5: Equipment 166

Clause 4.6: Maintenance 168

Clause 4.7: Staff Facilities 175

Clause 4.8: Physical and Chemical Product Contamination

Control – Raw Material Handling, Preparation, Processing, Packing and Storage Areas 182

Clause 4.9: Housekeeping and Hygiene 192

Clause 4.10: Waste/Waste Disposal 198

Clause 4.11: Pest Control 200

Clause 4.12: Storage and Transport 207

Chapter 9 Clause 5: Product Control 215

Clause 5.1: Product Design/Development 215

Clause 5.2: Handling Requirements for Specifi c Materials – Materials

Containing Allergens and Identity Preserved Materials 220

Clause 5.3: Foreign Body Detection 226

Clause 5.4: Product Packaging 232

Clause 5.5: Product Inspection and Laboratory Testing 235

Clause 5.6: Control of Non-Conforming Product 240

Clause 5.7: Product Release 242

Chapter 10 Clause 6: Process Control 244

Clause 6.0: Process Control 244

Clause 6.1: Control of Operations 244

Clause 6.2: Quantity – Weight, Volume and Number Control 250

Clause 6.3: Calibration and Control of Measuring and Monitoring Devices 252

Chapter 11 Clause 7: Personnel 257

Clause 7.1: Training – Raw Material Handling, Preparation, Processing, Packing and Storage Areas 257

Clause 7.2: Access and Movement of Personnel 261

Clause 7.3: Personal Hygiene – Raw Material Handling, Preparation, Processing, Packing and Storage Areas 263

Clause 7.4: Medical Screening 270

Clause 7.5: Protective Clothing – Employees or Visitors to Production Areas 272

Part Three After the On-Site Audit 279

Chapter 12 Correcting Nonconformities 281

Documentary Evidence 281

Stating the Corrective Action 281

Conclusion 296

Minor Nonconformities 296

The Nature of the Evidence 297

Corrective Actions: Follow Up 297

Ways of Sending Evidence 299

Other Ways of Helping the CB 299

Returning to Your Site 300

Chapter 13 What Next? 302

Failure 302

Success 302

References 305

Useful Websites 305

Appendices 307

Appendix 1 What Happened to Issue 4? 309

Appendix 2 Pre-Audit Checklist 319

Index 337

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Dr Ron Kill is Managing Director, Micron Laboratories Ltd, UK
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The only guide to attaining the BRC Global Standard for Food - a benchmark for best practice in the food industry in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Structured in 3 practical and helpful sections: Before the Evaluation; The Sections of the Standard; After the Evaluation.

Written by an acknowledged international expert in food safety inspection services.

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"Overall, this is a very useful book to use a guide to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, in preparing for and following up on a BRC audit. Its price is reasonable and should be good value, and a worthwhile acquisition, particularly for food businesses starting on the road to achieve accreditation to that standard." (International Journal of Dairy Technology, February 2011)

“This book offers companies in the food industry the first comprehensive guide to preparing for the Global Standard Audit.” (Beverage and Food World, May 2009)
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