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BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9—What Changes Are Coming?

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The BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9 was published on August 1, 2022, and new requirements have been incorporated with this revision. The revision process enables BRCGS to update standards with evolving regulatory requirements and current market needs. Compliance with Issue 9 will begin 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, LLC can be found in the BRCGS directory as a certification body for the food industry. 

What Are the Key Changes To Consider?

In this blog post, we have summarized 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 Issue 9 formally adds a third audit option to the protocol

  • The blended audit is announced in two parts. This audit is divided into two parts: remote (online) and 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 required activities. At a minimum, these activities focus on clear and open communication about product safety, training, employee feedback, behaviors 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 to discuss the effective implementation of the food safety and quality culture plan.
  • Food safety culture should be part of the internal audit program.

3. Validation and verification

  • There is an increased focus on validation within the HACCP section. Validation is mandatory before a change is implemented. A control point (not only a CCP), as well as the critical limits of a CCP, are also validated. 
  • Validation before implementing changes is also important when new equipment is put into service and during product development. 
  • Verification is no longer expected only once but at least annually and immediately after changes or incidents. This applies to HACCP, lethality process validations, environmental monitoring, and specifications.

4. Training and competence

  • Where 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.
  • Not only management of a CCP but also of the other control measures will be trained (and competence will be tested). 
  •  The entire staff will be trained in allergen control plans.

What can Mérieux NutriSciences Do for You?

Mérieux NutriSciences is poised to conduct training and consulting on the new changes in BRCGS Issue 9 of the Food Safety Standard. We are proud to partner in promoting BRCGS and the safety and security of the global food chain. 

Do You Need More Information on BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9?

Revisit our webinar from earlier this year with Jessica Burke of BRCGS—an informative and engaging discussion on the Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 9, and what changes you can expect in the new issue. Click the link below to watch.

[Webinar] Preparing for Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 9

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