Seeking BRC Certification? What You Need to Get Started

Christy Draus, Marketing Manager, Eagle Product Inspection

28 February 2019

With Issue 8 updates in effect, audits for certification to the BRC Global Food Safety Standard include new requirements for participating manufacturers. If your company is seeking certification, there are things you need to know about how a BRC audit is conducted – and what you need to have in place for success. 

It’s one thing to take steps to improve your organization’s food safety culture. It’s another thing – and arguably a better one – to prove it.

The updated BRC Global Food Safety Standard Issue 8, which calls for a greater, management-led commitment to a strong food safety culture, also includes changes to the certification process for the Standard.

Why should you open up your company, its employees and your documents to an outside party for this particular Standard?

First, the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is important because it is used as a benchmark for the Global Food Safety Initiative and other food safety programs. The HACCP-based Standard sets the bar for food safety and now, that bar is higher than ever.

In addition, pursuing certification to the Standard demonstrates the importance your company places on food safety, to regulators as well as to customers, consumers and your own workers. And as you take the steps toward certification, you’re also assessing measures in place to reduce safety risks due to pathogens, allergens and physical contaminants, among other hazards. If your internal audits or a third-party audit uncovers vulnerabilities, you have a chance to change or update your equipment and processes before there is a food safety problem.

The latest information provided by the BRC on audits underscores the importance of lowering risks of contaminants through preventive and corrective measures like x-ray inspection. Advanced x-ray inspection systems for food are, in fact, an important tool in assessing food safety processes and making any changes to ensure compliance and certification. Having advanced contaminant detection technologies in place can help a company achieve a higher audit score and become certified to the Standard.

February 1, 2019 marked the beginning of audits reflecting Issue 8 updates, which range from the presence of senior management in meetings to steps towards greater traceability to compliance with legal standards for checkweighing, among several other requirements. Companies currently seeking or planning to seek certification should familiarize themselves with those changes and the updated fundamental requirements and, on broader level, understand how audits are conducted and what is expected of manufacturers. For example, a BRC audit is not conducted by the BRC entity, but an independent approved certification body.