GLOBAL – BRCGS, a globally recognized certifier has launched its latest standard – Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 9 – which provides guidance on the production of safe, authentic and legal food.

Initially drafted and published in 1998, this latest Standard from BRCGS provides an updated framework designed to assist food manufacturers with the production of safe, authentic, legal food and to manage quality to meet customer requirements. 

“Today we have hit a huge milestone in the launch of Issue 9. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone at BRCGS who has worked to make this happen.

“I would also like to thank those who were involved in the standard development through our global working groups as, without their contribution, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” John Kukoly, Director of BRCGS wrote in a statement.

With over 22,000 certificated sites across more than 130 countries, BRCGS has regularly updated the Standard to reflect the latest thinking in food safety and to encourage its uptake worldwide.

According to the Consortium, the idea behind the review process is to ensure that those who use the standard continue to see value with each evolution.

Commenting on the update, Richa Bedi-Navik, Senior Global Standards Manager at BRCGS said the Food Safety Standard facilitates a process of continual improvement through well-designed, risk-based product safety management.

“It is important for the standard to be periodically reviewed and updated due the ever-evolving nature of the industry.

“Whilst some previous issues of the standard have led the way in terms of new content development, more often, it can be making small changes to help certificated sites develop robust food safety systems, which is a key principle of continual improvement. This is the case with Issue 9 and the launch is an event that deserves recognition,” she said.

BRCGS will be hosting a series of launch webinars and roadshows to ensure the food safety industry is up-to-date on the new issue. For those who will be implementing the new requirements, training courses are available through the BRCGS Academy and its global network of approved training partners.

It pointed out that whilst the launch webinars will provide an overview of the key changes, attending a training course is the only way for personnel at certificated sites to learn the detail behind the standard and how to implement the requirements.

The new issue and supporting guidance is available for certificated sites to access through BRCGS Participate. Otherwise, a copy of the publications can be purchased via the BRCGS Store.

BRCGS is a market-leading global brand founded by retailers who wanted to harmonize food safety standards across the supply chain.

Update highlights

The updated Standard will give room for a hybrid/blended audit where auditing can be done remotely with the aid of teleconferencing as opposed to the previous conference room requirement. However, this must be followed by an on-site audit within a 28-day window for the audit to be considered complete.

As reviewed by Siarl Siviyer Dixon, a Certification Manager at AIB International, food defense has its own section and sites have the option to consider it, jointly with food fraud, in the same document.

He noted that the Standard will place an increased emphasis on root cause analysis.

“So it will be vital to keep an eye out for this. Vendor approval clauses have been improved by ensuring that companies consider food defense and food fraud are central to the assessment process,” he said.

Overall, the facilities section has seen minor adjustments with stronger requirements for equipment control and commissioning, catering, and a few other matters like plastic strip curtains.

“Staff involved in assessing food fraud will need to be able to demonstrate their competence and expertise. If time separation is used for high-care facilities, a robust system must be in place and all traded products must be assessed under a product safety plan,” Dixon said.

The revised version has also given more attention to validation within the HACCP section and made it mandatory prior to implementing a change. It requires control points not only Critical Control Points (CCP), as well as the critical limits of a CCP, to be validated.

In addition, verification is no longer expected only once annually, but at least annually and immediately after changes or incidents.

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