What is BRC?
BRC is an international Food Safety Management Systems standard, and is one of the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) recognized certification schemes. It contains requirements for food processors to follow to build an effective food safety management system. There are also editions of the standard for food packaging manufacturers, storage and distribution and now agent and brokers.
The requirements of the standard address the key elements that must be in place for your organization to ensure production of safe product. BRC Certification is recognized by GFSI, an important consideration when choosing a certification scheme because many major manufacturers and retailers require a GFSI recognized certification. Other recognized certification schemes include FSSC 22000 and SQF.
What the standard covers
In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC), responding to industry needs, developed and introduced the BRC Food Technical Standard to be used to evaluate manufacturers of retailers own brand food products.
The main requirements of this standard are the adoption of HACCP, a documented quality management system and control of factory environmental standards, process and personnel.
In a short space of time, this Standard has become invaluable to other organisations across the sector. It was and still is regarded as the benchmark for best practice in the food industry. This and its use outside the UK has seen it evolve into a Global Standard used not just to assess retailer suppliers, but as a framework upon which many companies have based their supplier assessment programmes and manufacture of some branded products.
What does BRC Require?
The BRC Standard has requirements for:
- Management Commitment Prerequisite programs
- Food Safety and Quality Manual
- Document Control
- Internal Audits
- Supplier Approval
- Corrective Actions
- Control of Nonconforming Product
- Complaint Handling
- Management of Incidents
- Site Standards
- Product Design and Development
- Management of Allergens
- Provenance, Assured Status and Identity Preserved
- Materials Packaging
- Product Inspection and Testing
- Product Release
- Control of Operations
- Calibration and Control of Measuring and Monitoring Devices
- Personal Hygiene
- Medical Screening
- Protective Clothing
The requirements are found in the “BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, Issue 6”,