The new code is out! The British Retail Consortium (or BRC) has released the new version of its auditing code and we thought it might be helpful to point out the biggest changes from the previous version. For those of you who are newer to food safety, BRC is a group of food industry experts who have developed technical standards to be used by processors for the safe production of food since 1998. This standard is called the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. To get a better understanding of the steps it takes to become certified at this level, read GFSI: What is it? And How Will It Help Me?
The new BRC Global Standard for Food Safety was released in August 2018 after collaboration and improvement by key stakeholders in food manufacturing, retail, and food service. This new edition will officially replace Issue 7 as of February 2019, and any facility seeking BRC certification or recertification from that time on will be evaluated against Issue 8. Be sure to take note of key dates laid out below:
Implementation Time Line:
- August 2018 – Standard published
- September 2018 – Approved training partner training
- October 2018 – Auditor and site training begins
- February 1st, 2019 – Audits commence: all audits will now be conducted in accordance with Issue 8.
What’s Stayed the Same
Consistent with Issue 7, the BRC Standard continues to require the adoption of fundamental food safety concepts including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control points (HACCP), a document quality management system and control of factory environmental standards, process, and personnel.
Key Changes in Issue 8
- An emphasis on improving company-wide food safety culture
- Greater requirements for environmental monitoring to reflect its increasing importance
- Encouragement for sites to further develop systems for security and food defense, including cybersecurity
- Additional clarity on the requirements for high-risk, high-care and ambient high-care production risk zones
- Clearer standards for sites manufacturing pet food
- An entire section (Section 9) focusing solely on traded goods
- A requirement for companies to adopt a whistle-blower reporting system
While these changes reflect a handful of highlights, there are smaller but significant revisions throughout the issue. To get an even better understanding of what’s going on with the new issue, the following resources are available for further learning:
For a more detailed breakdown of changes to the code, download our BRC Issue 8 Resource Guide.
- To take an Issue 7 to 8 comprehensive conversion course, sign up here
- Read BRC’s Quick Start Guide Food Safety Issue 8
- If you are new to pursuing BRC certification, attend a BRC Global Standard for Food Safety: Implementing the Standard course.
- Attend our conference where John Kukoly will be discussing the 3 Main Topics You Should Know About BRC Issue 8
If you would like to talk with a Certification Body about your interest in pursuing BRC certification, get a quote for an audit or pre-assessment, or schedule an audit, please contact Samuel Greenlee, Auditing Services Administrator, at email@example.com or 916-246-2806.