The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is developed by food industry experts from retailers, manufacturers and food service organisations to ensure it is rigorous and detailed, yet easy to understand.
First published in 1998, the Standard is now in its eighth issue and is well-established globally. It has evolved with input from many leading global specifiers.
It provides a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality, and the operational controls for these criteria in the food and food ingredient manufacturing, processing and packing industry.
The BRC Global Standard focuses on:
- encouraging development of product safety culture;
- expanding the requirements for environmental monitoring to reflect the increasing importance of this technique;
- encouraging sites to further develop systems for security and food defence;
- adding clarity to the requirements for high-risk, high-care and ambient high-care production risk zones;
- providing greater clarity for sites manufacturing pet food; and
- ensuring global applicability and bench-marking to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
The BRC Global Standard is divided into nine sections:
1. Senior management commitment
Commitment at a senior level is essential in the development of a good food safety culture and is therefore necessary for any food safety system to be effective and to ensure the full application and continual development of these systems.
2. The food safety plan - HACCP
Effective hazard and risk analysis enables the company to identify and manage those hazards that may pose a risk to the safety, quality and integrity of their products. The BRC Global Standard requires the development of an effective hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) programme based on the requirements of the internationally recognised Codex Alimentarius system.
3. Food safety and quality management system
This section ensures the company works to well-documented, systematic management systems that form the basis for the product and process controls necessary to produce safe products, meet customer expectations and ensure staff are trained.
4. Site standards
This covers the suitability, cleanliness and control of the site and includes topics such as factory conditions, cleaning, equipment, pest control, foreign body controls and food defence/site security.
5. Product control
Establishing product controls such as allergen management, the prevention of food fraud and product testing are important in the reliable delivery of safe, authentic products.
6. Process control
These requirements ensure that the documented HACCP plan is put into operation on a daily basis, together with effective procedures to consistently manufacture the product to the correct quality.
Training, protective clothing and hygiene practices are covered in this section.
8. High-risk, high-care and ambient high-care production risk zones
A specific section of the Standard dealing with products that are susceptible to potential pathogen contamination and therefore need additional controls to ensure product safety.
9. Requirements for traded products
A voluntary additional section of the Standard for sites that purchase and sell food products that would normally fall within the scope of the Standard and are stored at the site’s facilities, but which are not manufactured, further processed or packed at the site being audited.