If you have decided that BRC certification is beneficial for your food and drink business, you’ll want to find out more about what’s involved in the process of being audited. What are the areas that will be examined and judged and how can you increase the chance of a successful audit?
Here are the core areas that are assessed during this audit:
Top Management Commitment
Those in charge of leading a business should be able to demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement and the setting up of food safety methods and actions throughout the organisation. There must be a demonstrable commitment that those in charge are fully on board with safety processes and will continue to be in the future.
There must be a detailed food safety plan in place. Adhering to the HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is essential for identifying any possible areas where food safety in production could be improved and act on them swiftly. This is essential for consumer confidence.
Safety and Quality Management
A business must be able to demonstrate that there is documentation in place to record all food safety practices and processes and that employees are being thoroughly informed and trained in these practices.
Standards at the Site
The site where food production takes place must be suited to this purpose and maintained as such. This is a crucial part of gaining certification as if there are problems with the site, the other areas such as safety and quality management will be impacted.
Control of the Product
Whatever products are being made on site, there must be demonstrable evidence that proper testing is taking place, including systems for allergen management, for example. This could also be referred to as quality control of the end product. For advice on what happens during a BRC Audit, visit a site like https://mqmconsulting.co.uk/services/brc-global-standards-consultancy/
Control of the Processes
To ensure that product quality control is adequate, process control is fundamental. There must be documented evidence that the HACCP plan is being adhered to and being maintained on a daily basis.
Part of the audit will involve checking to see that staff are trained correctly and have access to all they need, such as Personal Protective Equipment and hygiene processes.
High Risk Zones
Some food production is riskier than others and if there are areas where contamination is higher, these high risk zones will be examined to see that they comply with safety and security measures to prevent contamination.
For businesses who buy in consumables to sell, such as food or beverage products, adherence to proper packing processes and materials will be looked at. Importantly, packing areas must be contaminant-free and goods must be packaged in a safe and hygienic way.
As you can see from the above, there is a lot to prepare for to gain BRC certification. There are organisations who can help you prepare for the audit and ensure all your documentation and processes are up to speed.