BRC food safety system certification
INTRODUCING BRC FOOD SAFETY SYSTEM CERTIFICATION
Food safety has for decades been a primary focus for globally active organisations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), national governments, NGOs, interest groups and the food industry. This focus has traditionally been driven by the importance of food safety for public health, and its impact on international trade.
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety system was developed under the direction of the WHO, the criteria of which are considered to be an operational foundation for food safety and hygiene. HACCP has since become a globally applied, structured method to eliminate, prevent or reduce all relevant risks in food and ANIMAL feed to an acceptable level. The method forms the basis for almost every certification standard pertaining to food safety.
BRC FOOD SAFETY – VERSION 8
In 1996, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a partnership of English retail organisations, was formed with the aim of achieving national and international harmonisation of food safety through standardisation and testing in the chain. This initiative led to the introduction of the BRC Food Safety Standard in 1998, later followed by derived standards such as BRC Packaging & Packaging Materials, BRC Consumer Products, BRC Storage & Distribution and BRC Agents & Brokers.
The BRC Food Safety standard has been adjusted and modernized several times since the introduction of the first version. The current version 8 was introduced in 2018, and has been in force since the beginning of 2019.
BRC Food Safety sets requirements for 7 topics within an organization: organizational structure and continuous improvement, food safety system according to HACCP, food safety and quality management system, location standards, product management, process management and personnel aspects, such as training, personal hygiene and medical screening.
The standard has been developed to protect consumers, improve product safety and reduce waste, complaints and product recalls.
The BRC Food Safety standard applies specifically to organisations that focus on food production, food processing or packaging of non-pre-packaged food.
What does this certification process look like? The BRC Food Safety certification process uses a fixed cycle of 1 year without interim investigations or surveillance audits. This differs from the pattern of other generic management system standards, such as ISO 22000.
The process starts with a certification audit, which we repeat after 1 year as the start of a new cycle. If we notice serious deviations during one of these audits, we will reduce the cycle – and therefore the validity of the certificate – to six months.
Would you like to receive more detailed information about this certification in practice? Take a look at our brochure Het Certificatieproces (The Certification Process).
An organization can use the BRC Food Safety standard as a stand-alone certification standard, but combinations with general management system standards are also possible, such as with ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 22000 or FSSC 22000 (food safety).