How Do I Prepare for a BRC Audit?
Learning how to prepare for a BRC audit is knowing what BRC is about! Certain food and beverage companies with U.S. bases hold certificates for the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a GFSI-benchmarked program that is well-liked throughout Europe. Despite the fact that 11% of registered sites are in the United States and 65% of registered sites are in Europe, it is a very typical food safety program for North American processors and manufacturers. This quick guide will be a useful tool for your business if you’re getting ready for a BRC audit and are unsure of what to anticipate.
What Is BRC?
A food and beverage company’s commitment to industry best practices can be seen by looking for BRC accreditation, which is a food safety standard. Companies are subject to independent audits by a recognized certification authority against the requirements of the standard in order to earn and retain certification (CB).
There are currently more than 29,000 approved suppliers spread out across 130 different countries. Eight changes have been made to the BRC Food Safety Standard since its introduction in 1998, and it is now a widely used framework for promoting benchmarking to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
The nine basic components of the most recent BRC standard for food safety are as follows:
- Senior management commitment
- Food safety plan (HACCP)
- Food safety and quality management system
- Site standards
- Product control
- Process control
- High-risk, high-care, and ambient high-care production risk zone
- Requirements for traded products
The food safety certification is ideal for food manufacturers, suppliers of raw materials and ingredients, and packaging facilities.
How Do I Prepare for a BRC Audit?
You can prepare your facility for any GFSI certification by ensuring that your recordkeeping procedures are up to date and effective. Additional advice for navigating BRC audit preparation can be found here.
1. Do a self-evaluation:
Self-assessments are a good way to find problems with food quality or safety before auditors do. By using a food safety management system, you can find holes or conduct an internal assessment.
2. Select a CB:
Utilizing the BRC’s directory, locate a CB next. Choose the one that appears to be a good fit for your facility.
3. Set a date:
The scheduling of the audit is the next step after selecting an auditor. Keep important things in mind, like which staff members should be there and when it’s best to do it based on your operations and the time of year. Additionally, keep in mind that re-audits will take place six months or one year after the release of your certification score.
4. Engage senior management.
Senior management is expected to play a significant role in BRC compliance, as previously stated. As a result, your leadership team should be present at the very least at the opening and closing meetings.
5. Make sure that every document is easily accessible.
Your HACCP plan and other important documentation that supports your food safety program will need to be reviewed by auditors. With the auditor present, you won’t want to be digging through binders and filing cabinets, so ensure that all of your information is gathered in advance. By storing all of your records in a single location, food safety audit systems keep your facility prepared for audits around the clock.
6. Assess your traceability.
Since traceability is a fundamental tenet of GFSI programs, an auditor will most likely conduct traceability tests during their evaluation. Ensure that you are prepared by doing the same thing during your practice audit.