It’s now just over one week since Issue 7 of the British Retail Consortium’s Global Standard for Food Safety came into force. If your audit is due in the coming months and you haven’t had time to digest the new Standard, we recommend you start preparing as soon as possible. There are several new changes you’ll need to address in order to comply – and they can’t be achieved overnight…
Can you be sure where your products are coming from?
A major new section in BRC Version 7 concerns product authenticity. As a company you are responsible for knowing exactly where your ingredients are coming from and verifying their authenticity. You’ll also need to have a TACCP (Threat Analysis Critical Control Point) system in place to guard against deliberate contamination, adulteration or food fraud throughout the entire supply chain.
Are your products being labelled and packed in line with BRC 7 standards?
There are four new clauses to be aware of relating to labelling and packaging of products. They’ve been introduced in order to help reduce the number of product recalls, but at least one of these will take a fair amount of planning to effect.
Do you know the new requirements regarding ‘Ambient High Care’ areas?
‘Ambient High Care’ is a new risk area for BRC 7. New requirements have been put in place to minimise the risk of cross contamination in areas producing products such as chocolate, peanut butter, baby milk powder etc. If this affects your production, you’ll need to be aware of what they are.
Would your corrective actions pass muster?
Whereas previously, it would have been sufficient to take corrective actions in the event of a non-conformance, there is now far greater emphasis on root cause analysis i.e. drilling right down to why the non-conformance occurred and putting systems in place to ensure there’s no recurrence. You need to ensure you have this covered in readiness for your audit.
Have you read the new section about the management of surplus food?
If you have, you’ll know that if surplus food is being disposed of or sold on, any customer branding must be removed. There are also specific rules to follow concerning the management of downgraded food products and by-products intended for animal feed.
Keep calm and enrol on our BRC V7 Update course
The above is just an example of a whole host of differences between BRC 6 and BRC 7. But there’s no need to panic just yet! Our BRC V7 Update course will take you through all the changes section by section and provide guidance on how to prepare for them. We also have special in-depth courses on TACCP and Root Cause Analysis.
In addition, because internal audits now need to be scheduled throughout the year under BRC 7 (no more auditing blitzes!), you might find our Auditing courses extremely useful – not only for internal audits, but also for auditing your suppliers. The latter has particular relevance given the emphasis on ‘Product authenticity, claims and chain of custody.’
As always, more information on the individual courses and their dates can be found on the main section of our website www.vwa.co.uk or by calling Graham or Carole on 01756 700802. Don’t forget that we can arrange in-house courses too.