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BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9 | Rolling with the Changes
August 05 2022

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9 | Rolling with the Changes

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The BRCGS Food Safety issue 9 was published on August 1, 2022, and with this revision, new requirements have been incorporated. The revision process enables BRCGS to keep standards up to date with evolving regulatory requirements and current market needs. The audits will start on February 1, 2023.

At Mérieux NutriSciences, we are ready to support manufacturers in assessing your organization’s readiness to pursue BRCGS Issue 9. Mérieux NutriSciences can be found in the BRCGS directory as a primary certification body for the food industry. 

What are the key changes to consider?

In this blog post, we have summarised the key changes between BRCGS Food Safety Issues 8 and 9 to support manufacturers in transitioning to the updated standard.

1. The Audit protocol: BRCGS Food Safety Version 9 adds a third audit option to the protocol

  • The blended audit is an announced audit in 2 parts. This audit is divided into two parts, one remote (online) and one on-site. 
  • The Certification Body will check beforehand if the IT possibilities at the site are sufficient to perform this audit and will determine the percentage of the remote audit duration (with a maximum of 50%). 
  • Only those parts that are part of auditing registrations, systems and documentation are assessed remotely. If the blended audit form has been chosen, the obligation to undergo an announced audit once every three years still applies.

2. Food safety culture: BRCGS 9 adds the below standard requirements

  • Food safety culture is now part of the fundamental section in 1.1 management commitment. Therefore it focuses even more on senior management and continuous improvement of the food safety culture (in addition to the continuous improvement of food safety and quality management).
  • The plan to improve the food safety culture includes the activities required in order to achieve this. At a minimum, these activities focus on clear and open communication about product safety, training, employee feedback, behaviours needed to maintain and improve product safety processes, and performance measurement of activities related to product safety, authenticity, legality and quality.
  • A member of the facility’s senior management team should be available during the audit in order to discuss the effective implementation of the food safety and quality culture plan.
  • Food safety culture is part of the internal audit program.

3. Validation and verification

  • There is more attention to validation within the HACCP section. Validation is mandatory before a change is implemented. A control point (so not only a CCP), as well as the critical limits of a CCP, are also validated. 
  • Validation before implementing changes also plays an important role when new equipment is put into service and during product development. 
  • Verification is no longer expected only once annually, but at least annually and immediately after changes or incidents. We see this not only in the VACCP and TACCP analysis but also in HACCP, environmental research and process specifications.

4. Training and competence

  • Where before only relevant staff, temporary staff and contractors had to be trained before the start of operations, this now applies to all staff. The recording of training needs in a plan now also applies to all personnel.
  • Additionally, BRCGS indicates that training is one of the activities that will certainly return to the plan for improving the food safety and quality culture. The competencies of the VACCP and TACCP team must include an understanding of the principles of food fraud and food defence.
  • In the production of pet food with medication, mastery of this material will be trained.
  • Not only management of a CCP but also of the other control measures will be trained (and competence will be tested). Also, the entire staff will be trained in allergen control plans.

What can Mérieux NutriSciences Do for You?

Mérieux NutriSciences is excited about the new changes from BRCGS and we’re ready to support Issue 9 of the Food Safety Standard. We are proud to be a partner in promoting BRCGS and the safety and security of the global food chain. For more information about consulting to assess your organization’s readiness or to pursue BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9 contact our experts today.

Do you need more information on BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9?

Our experts summarised all technical changes between issues 8 and 9 in a more comprehensive White Paper. You can download it below. 

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