From high-profile recalls linked to contaminants to a changing regulatory environment, the focus of food safety efforts is evolving within and beyond companies. On a broad level and driven by changes like recent updates to BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8, including updates to the Additional Module 11 for the Meat Supply Chain, there is a greater emphasis on a strong food safety culture, with a top-down, end-to-end prioritization on food safety.
On an organizational level, manufacturers are deploying more food safety measures and interventions, and moving to continually assess progress toward their food safety goals to ensure that products leaving their facilities are safe and traceable. As companies and regulatory agencies seek to assure that their combined efforts meet this new standard of food safety, audits in-turn are evolving, too.
In addition to conducting their own internal audits, starting February 1, 2019, meat and poultry processors seeking BRC certification must have onsite documented processes in their facility. These processes should have greater transparency, demonstrate effective traceability from slaughterhouse to distribution, establish actionable and corrective procedures for foreign body removal equipment as well as other requirements based on the new standard.
Because of these changes, food safety plans and preparations for supply chain audits must be as dynamic as they are stringent and regularly reviewed, to allow for additional updates and evolving circumstances. Here are some basic steps that include a thorough understanding of what’s involved in a BRC audit and an evaluation of your current practices and vulnerabilities.