BRC stands for The British Retail Consortium. They are the trade association acting for the UK’s food retail industry and were established in 1992. The BRC publishes best practice standards for the food and manufacturing industry and has done for the last two decades.
When a food retail business receives an audit, it will need to demonstrate its adherence to the BRC standards. These audits form part of the Consortium’s regulatory examination of compliance for food producers and must meet the organisation’s global food safety standards.
The consortium focuses on the following areas:
The commitment of senior management – corporate leaders must help ensure the implementation and continuous improvement of food safety process
HACCP or food safety plan – having a food safety plan can help point out risks in food production and how to manage them
Food safety and quality management systems – proper documentation of processes in place to help manage the security of food production and keep the staff informed
Site standards – setting up and maintaining an ideal site for food production
Product control – control arrangements in place to cover the management of allergens and testing of products
Control of processes – to ensure that the HACCP plan is applied consistently for the maintenance of product quality
Personnel – make sure all staff are well trained, have access to PPE and follow proper hygiene
High Risk Ambient zone – ensure that the products more vulnerable to pathogen contamination have improved control measures in place
Traded Products – make sure the site is buying and selling products that have been properly processed and packed to avoid contamination