As BRCGS audits are on the horizon for food and beverage manufacturers, keeping up to speed on the latest compulsory changes is critical for certification, to meet BRC’s Food Safety Standard and to hit the accompanying benchmarks for GFSI and FSMA. Companies can use tools like modules and checklists to help ensure that their food safety culture is defined, measurable and continually improved.
Although every manufacturer is unique, with food safety plans and practices geared to their own operation, there are ways to gauge an effective and holistic food safety culture, as mandated by the new Issue 8 of the BRCGS, which will be used in audits going forward after Feb. 1.
As food and beverage companies assess, plan, build and regularly evaluate their food safety culture, they can use tools like BRC’s Global Standards Food Safety Culture Model and also refer to their own checklists to make sure their organization is on track.
Those checklists may include the following questions:
- Are we effectively communicating with employees about food safety? A food safety culture is one that encourages communication across the organization. Employees should feel comfortable raising questions about safety if they spot a vulnerability, see a potential problem, or have an idea to improve safety.
- What is our ongoing training for food safety practices, measures and tools? Food and beverage companies often bring in trainers for food safety and quality, to ensure compliance and to make sure equipment is properly installed, optimized and running correctly. As they broaden their approach to food safety from practices to a more all-encompassing mindset, manufacturers should regularly assess the type and frequency of training for food safety practices, equipment and measures. Remember, equipment solution providers like Eagle are a resource for training and maintenance that bolster safety and a food safety culture.
- What technologies and tools are in place to prevent safety-related issues, from pathogens to allergens to physical contaminants? As companies have deployed and updated food safety practices and programs, including HACCP plans and practices that ensure compliance with other standards and regulations ranging from GFSI, FSMA and BRCGS to local requirements, they can assess the effectiveness of tools and technologies that prevent food safety problems. From sanitation to rapid testing to inspection, detection technologies are in place to safeguard products from physical contaminants and make sure product integrity is protected. Read an example of a company that used Eagle’s dual view x-ray inspection technology to achieve greater food safety.
- How do our food safety systems also ensure the quality of our products? Detection technologies not only find and reject a variety of physical contaminants that pose food safety hazards, but can be used to check for product integrity. Eagle offers a variety of x-ray systems that can determine attributes like mass measurement, fill level, component count, package integrity, and more. Those machines are also powered by advanced software that provide greater traceability and data/images that may be needed later in the process.
Christy Draus, Marketing Manager, Eagle Product Inspection