BRC Food Safety Issue 8

The BRC Global Standard Food Safety Issue 8 was released in August 2018. All BRC audits are now certified against Issue 8, it is imperative you read this update and prepare for your next audit.

Issue 8 addresses a few major areas where the Standard needed to be revised to reflect the changing food safety landscape. For successful certification to Issue 8, sites must implement all of the changes.

What you need to know – Key Changes:

There are now 12 Fundamental clauses not 10, refer to pg.9

Issue 8 places a big emphasis on Food Safety Culture – clause 1.1.2 – site’s senior management shall define and maintain a clear plan for the development and continuing improvement of a food safety and quality culture (measurement of objectives) and clause 1.1.6 – confidential reporting system

Special attention is also drawn to clause 1.1.13 – no BRC logo on packaging or labels

HACCP/Food Safety Plan – HACCP risk assessment clause 2.7.1 – one new word that must be considered in the Hazard Analysis – ‘radiological hazards.’

Food Fraud Risk Assessment (VACCP) clauses – 2.7.1, and 5.4.2

Site Security – section 4.2 You must have a documented Threat Risk Assessment (TACCP) in addition to your control procedure.

Environmental Monitoring – section 4.11.8 – sites must develop rigorous monitoring techniques and programs within the factory, enabling them to identify potential product contamination risks (pathogens and spoilage organisms) and take timely corrective action before product contamination occurs.  

Product Labelling – section 5.2 and 6.2 – updated requirements relating to pack and label control. Change control at goods receipt, control of on-site printing, verification processes to control and monitor labelling. Lots of inspections, checks and records required. 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 – section 8 – the requirements remain unchanged but have been relocated into a single, newly created section of the Standard.  

Additional Modules:

Traded Products – traded goods module for sites that store and sell food products that are not manufactured, processed or packed on site is now included in section 9 of the Standard.  

Changes to the audit protocol:  

There have been changes to the way in which the Standard is audited and certified, refer to pg.64.

BRC Issue 8 Certification Audit Findings:

From our recent BRC Issue 8 certification audits it would appear not many sites have carried out an effective internal audit against the new Standard consequently resulting in many non-conformities and poor audit outcomes! 

Hints for your upcoming BRC Issue 8 Audit:

1. Carry out an effective internal audit against the “system.” 
Do your company’ s procedures and records meet the current requirements of the BRC Standard?
If YES, are your company’s procedures being implemented on the “factory floor?”

2. Carry out the internal audit at least 3 months before your certification audit, so you actually have time to rectify the identified issues.

3. If you choose an external consultant, make sure you check their qualifications beforehand. Are they a registered BRC auditor or BRC Professional?  
If NOT, how do you expect they will know more than you?

4. It is a BRC requirement that you have a copy of qualifications for all internal auditors used onsite.

5. Read the new Standard and attend an official BRC Training Course for Site Conversion from issue 7 to 8.