There have been some interesting updates this week concerning Food Safety – The BRC Global Standards for Food Safety released its updated standards, on the same day that the FSA publicised its biannual report on consumer attitudes towards food-related issues.
The quality and safety of the food we produce should be at the very heart of any manufacturer’s core values and there are codes of practice set out to ensure that food producers remain compliant.
The BRC (British Retail Council) Global Standards for Food Safety was introduced twenty years ago and is now recognised as the industry standard, with over 19,000 food certificates issued annually by 1,500 auditors, representing 64 certification bodies.
Part of The Global Food Safety Initiative, food manufacturers are audited against these guidelines and many major retailers recognise it as the benchmark, insisting that their suppliers are scheme approved.
The standards were recently updated and issue 8 was released on 1 August, with the first audits to begin against these from 1 February 2019.
New standards have been introduced this year, which includes the addition of two new sections: Production Risk Zones and Traded Goods. The Standards also cover: Senior Management Commitment; HACCP; Food Safety and QMS; Site Standards; Product Control; Process Control; and Personnel, with some new and significant updates to existing clauses.
Food safety and quality culture is now a compulsory requirement, rather than voluntary. However, auditors will not audit and evaluate culture at a site, but encourage companies to develop plans of actions aimed at improving food safety culture within their business. These then become measurable objective requirements that can be audited.
Other key changes include: a confidential reporting system for staff; changes to supplier approval and monitoring; risk assessments for food defence; food fraud and environmental monitoring for all production areas with open and ready to eat products.
Campden BRI are hosting briefing sessions on the updates to both members and non-members www.campdenbri.co.uk/brc-v8-seminar.php
For more information on the standards, visit www.brcglobalstandards.com
The Public’s Perception of Food Safety:
Twice yearly, the FSA surveys consumers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to glean their thoughts on food related issues. 2004 adults were questioned in May and below are the key findings relating to our sector of the food industry:
The top food safety issues of concern for respondents were:
- Food hygiene when eating out (33%); Chemicals from the environment, such as lead, in food (30%); Food additives (29%); Food poisoning (28%)
- 45% of respondents reported concern about food safety in UK restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways and 43% of respondents reported concern about food safety in UK shops and supermarkets.
- Salmonella and E-coli were by far the most commonly known types of food poisoning (total awareness of 91% and 85% respectively). Perceived most likely sources of food poisoning were raw chicken or turkey (79%), followed by shellfish (55%), reheated take-away food (46%) and eggs (37%).
- Rather worryingly, 59% of respondents did not trust that people who produce and sell food have their best interests at heart.
- Whilst 72% reported not always feeling confident that food is what it says it is on the label.
The full report can be found here: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/biannual-public-attitudes-tracker-wave-16-final-270718.pdf
Holmach has a range of sterilisation and pasteurisation equipment, that ensures that your product is safe, thereby helping to protect your brand. To find out what Holmach can do for you, call a thermal processing expert today on 01780 749097 or visit www.holmach.co.uk