1 SENIOR MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT

1.1 SENIOR MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT AND CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The site’s senior management shall demonstrate they are fully commied to the implementation of the
    requirements of the Global Standard for Food Safety and to processes which facilitate continual improvement of
    food safety and quality management.

  • 1.1.1 The site shall have a documented policy which states the site’s intention to meet its obligation to produce <br>safe, legal and authentic products to the specified quality, and its responsibility to its customers. This <br>shall be:<br>• signed by the person with overall responsibility for the site<br>• communicated to all staff.

  • 1.1.2 The site’s senior management shall define and maintain a clear plan for the development and continuing <br>improvement of a food safety and quality culture. This shall include:<br>• defined activities involving all sections of the site that have an impact on product safety<br>• an action plan indicating how the activities will be undertaken and measured, and the intended <br>timescales<br>• a review of the effectiveness of completed activities.

  • 1.1.3 The site’s senior management shall ensure that clear objectives are defined to maintain and improve the<br>safety, legality and quality of products manufactured, in accordance with the food safety and quality<br>policy and this Standard. These objectives shall be:<br>• documented and include targets or clear measures of success<br>• clearly communicated to relevant staff<br>• monitored and results reported at least quarterly to site senior management

  • 1.1.4 Management review meetings aended by the site’s senior management shall be undertaken at<br>appropriate planned intervals, annually at a minimum, to review the site performance against the<br>Standard and objectives set in clause 1.1.3. The review process shall include the evaluation of:<br>• previous management review action plans and timeframes<br>• the results of internal, second-party and/or third-party audits<br>• any objectives that have not been met, to understand the underlying reasons. This information shall<br>be used when seing future objectives and to facilitate continual improvement<br>• any customer complaints and the results of any customer feedback<br>• any incidents (including both recalls and withdrawals), corrective actions, out-of-specification results<br>and non-conforming materials<br>• the effectiveness of the systems for HACCP, food defence and authenticity<br>• resource requirements.<br>Records of the meeting shall be documented and used to revise the objectives. The decisions and<br>actions agreed within the review process shall be effectively communicated to appropriate staff, and<br>actions implemented within agreed timescales

  • 1.1.5 The site shall have a demonstrable meeting programme which enables food safety, legality, integrity and<br>quality issues to be brought to the aention of senior management. These meetings shall occur at least<br>monthly.<br>Employees shall be aware of the need to report any evidence of unsafe or out-of-specification product<br>or raw materials, to a designated manager to enable the resolution of issues requiring immediate action

  • 1.1.6 The company shall have a confidential reporting system to enable staff to report concerns relating to<br>product safety, integrity, quality and legality.<br>The mechanism (e.g. the relevant telephone number) for reporting concerns must be clearly<br>communicated to staff.<br>The company’s senior management shall have a process for assessing any concerns raised. Records of<br>the assessment and, where appropriate, actions taken, shall be documented

  • 1.1.7 The company’s senior management shall provide the human and financial resources required to<br>produce food safely and in compliance with the requirements of this Standard

  • 1.1.8 The company’s senior management shall have a system in place to ensure that the site is kept informed<br>of and reviews:<br>• scientific and technical developments<br>• industry codes of practice<br>• new risks to authenticity of raw materials<br>• all relevant legislation in the country where the product will be sold (where known)

  • 1.1.9 The site shall have a genuine, original hard copy or electronic version of the current Standard available<br>and be aware of any changes to the Standard or protocol that are published on the BRC Global<br>Standards website.

  • 1.1.10 Where the site is certificated to the Standard, it shall ensure that announced recertification audits occur<br>on or before the audit due date indicated on the certificate

  • 1.1.11 The most senior production or operations manager on site shall participate in the opening and closing<br>meetings of the audit for certification to the Standard. Relevant departmental managers or their deputies<br>shall be available as required during the audit.

  • 1.1.12 The site’s senior management shall ensure that the root causes of any non-conformities against the<br>Standard identified at the previous audit have been effectively addressed to prevent recurrence.

  • 1.1.13 The BRC Global Standards logo and references to certification status shall only be used in accordance<br>with the conditions of use detailed in the audit protocol section (Part III, section 5.6) of the Standard.

1.2 ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE, RESPONSIBILITIES AND MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

  • The company shall have a clear organisational structure and lines of communication to enable effective management of
    product safety, legality and quality

  • 1.2.1 The company shall have an organisation chart demonstrating the management structure of the<br>company. The responsibilities for the management of activities which ensure food safety, integrity,<br>legality and quality shall be clearly allocated and understood by the managers responsible. It shall be<br>clearly documented who deputises in the absence of the responsible person.

  • 1.2.2 The site’s senior management shall ensure that all employees are aware of their responsibilities. Where<br>documented work instructions exist for activities undertaken, the relevant employees shall have access<br>to these and be able to demonstrate that work is carried out in accordance with the instructions.

2 THE FOOD SAFETY PLAN – HACCP

2.1 THE HACCP FOOD SAFETY TEAM (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 1)

  • 2.1.1 The HACCP or food safety plan shall be developed and managed by a multi-disciplinary food safety<br>team that includes those responsible for quality assurance, technical management, production<br>operations, engineering and other relevant functions.<br>The team leader shall have an in-depth knowledge of Codex HACCP principles (or equivalent) and be<br>able to demonstrate competence, experience and training. Where there is a legal requirement for<br>specific training, this shall be in place.<br>The team members shall have specific knowledge of HACCP and relevant knowledge of products,<br>processes and associated hazards.<br>In the event of the site not having the appropriate in-house knowledge, external expertise may be used,<br>but day-to-day management of the food safety system shall remain the responsibility of the company.

  • 2.1.2 The scope of each HACCP or food safety plan, including the products and processes covered, shall be<br>defined.

2.2 PREREQUISITE PROGRAMMES

  • 2.2.1 The site shall establish and maintain environmental and operational programmes necessary to create an<br>environment suitable to produce safe and legal food products (prerequisite programmes). As a guide<br>these may include the following, although this is not an exhaustive list:<br>• cleaning and sanitising<br>• pest management<br>• maintenance programmes for equipment and buildings<br>• personal hygiene requirements<br>• staff training<br>• purchasing<br>• transportation arrangements<br>• processes to prevent cross-contamination<br>• allergen controls.<br>The control measures and monitoring procedures for the prerequisite programmes must be clearly<br>documented and shall be included within the development and reviews of the HACCP or food safety<br>plan.

2.3 DESCRIBE THE PRODUCT (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 2)

  • 2.3.1 A full description for each product or group of products shall be developed, which includes all relevant<br>information on food safety. As a guide, this may include the following, although this is not an exhaustive<br>list:<br>• composition (e.g. raw materials, ingredients, allergens, recipe)<br>• origin of ingredients<br>• physical or chemical properties that impact food safety (e.g. pH, aw )<br>• treatment and processing (e.g. cooking, cooling)<br>• packaging system (e.g. modified atmosphere, vacuum)<br>• storage and distribution conditions (e.g. chilled, ambient)<br>• maximum safe shelf life under prescribed storage and usage conditions

  • 2.3.2 All relevant information needed to conduct the hazard analysis shall be collected, maintained,<br>documented and updated. The company will ensure that the HACCP or food safety plan is based on<br>comprehensive information sources, which are referenced and available on request. As a guide, this<br>may include the following, although this is not an exhaustive list:<br>• the latest scientific literature<br>• historical and known hazards associated with specific food products<br>• relevant codes of practice<br>• recognised guidelines<br>• food safety legislation relevant for the production and sale of products<br>• customer requirements.

2.4 IDENTIFY INTENDED USE (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 3)

  • 2.4.1 The intended use of the product by the customer, and any known alternative use, shall be described,<br>defining the consumer target groups, including the suitability of the product for vulnerable groups of the<br>population (e.g. infants, elderly, allergy sufferers).

2.5 CONSTRUCT A PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 4)

  • 2.5.1 A flow diagram shall be prepared to cover each product, product category or process. This shall set out<br>all aspects of the food process operation within the HACCP or food safety plan scope, from raw material<br>receipt through to processing, storage and distribution. As a guide, this should include the following,<br>although this is not an exhaustive list:<br>• plan of premises and equipment layout<br>• raw materials, including introduction of utilities and other contact materials (e.g. water, packaging)<br>• sequence and interaction of all process steps<br>• outsourced processes and subcontracted work<br>• potential for process delay<br>• rework and recycling<br>• low-risk/high-risk/high-care area segregation<br>• finished products, intermediate/semi-processed products, by-products and waste.

2.6 VERIFY FLOW DIAGRAM (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 5)

  • 2.6.1 The HACCP food safety team shall verify the accuracy of the flow diagrams by on-site audit and<br>challenge at least annually. Daily and seasonal variations shall be considered and evaluated. Records of<br>verified flow diagrams shall be maintained.

2.7 LIST ALL POTENTIAL HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH EACH PROCESS STEP, CONDUCT A HAZARD ANALYSIS AND CONSIDER ANY MEASURES TO CONTROL IDENTIFIED HAZARDS (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 6, PRINCIPLE 1)

  • 2.7.1 The HACCP food safety team shall identify and record all the potential hazards that are reasonably<br>expected to occur at each step in relation to product, process and facilities. This shall include hazards<br>present in raw materials, those introduced during the process or surviving the process steps, and<br>consideration of the following types of hazard:<br>• microbiological<br>• physical contamination<br>• chemical and radiological contamination<br>• fraud (e.g. substitution or deliberate/intentional adulteration)<br>• malicious contamination of products<br>• allergen risks (see clause 5.3).<br>It shall also take account of the preceding and following steps in the process chain.

  • 2.7.2 The HACCP food safety team shall conduct a hazard analysis to identify hazards which need to be<br>prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels. Consideration shall be given to the following:<br>• likely occurrence of hazard<br>• severity of the effects on consumer safety<br>• vulnerability of those exposed<br>• survival and multiplication of micro-organisms of specific concern to the product<br>• presence or production of toxins, chemicals or foreign bodies<br>• contamination of raw materials, intermediate/semi-processed product, or finished product.<br>Where elimination of the hazard is not practical, justification for acceptable levels of the hazard in the<br>finished product shall be determined and documented.

  • 2.7.3 The HACCP food safety team shall consider the control measures necessary to prevent or eliminate a<br>food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level. Where the control is achieved through existing<br>prerequisite programmes, this shall be stated and the adequacy of the programme to control the<br>specific hazard validated. Consideration may be given to using more than one control measure.

2.8 DETERMINE THE CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS (CCPS) (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 7, PRINCIPLE 2)

  • 2.8.1 For each hazard that requires control, control points shall be reviewed to identify those that are critical.<br>This requires a logical approach and may be facilitated by use of a decision tree. Critical control points<br>(CCPs) shall be those control points which are required in order to prevent or eliminate a food safety<br>hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level. If a hazard is identified at a step where control is necessary for<br>safety but the control does not exist, the product or process shall be modified at that step, or at an earlier<br>step, to provide a control measure.

2.9 ESTABLISH CRITICAL LIMITS FOR EACH CCP (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 8, PRINCIPLE 3)

  • 2.9.1 For each CCP, the appropriate critical limits shall be defined in order to identify clearly whether the<br>process is in or out of control. Critical limits shall be:<br>• measurable wherever possible (e.g. time, temperature, pH)<br>• supported by clear guidance or examples where measures are subjective (e.g. photographs).

  • 2.9.2 The HACCP food safety team shall validate each CCP. Documented evidence shall show that the control<br>measures selected and critical limits identified are capable of consistently controlling the hazard to the<br>specified acceptable level.

2.10 ESTABLISH A MONITORING SYSTEM FOR EACH CCP (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 9, PRINCIPLE 4)

  • 2.10.1 A monitoring procedure shall be established for each CCP to ensure compliance with critical limits. The<br>monitoring system shall be able to detect loss of control of CCPs and, wherever possible, provide<br>information in time for corrective action to be taken. As a guide, consideration may be given to the<br>following, although this is not an exhaustive list:<br>• online measurement<br>• offline measurement<br>• continuous measurement (e.g. thermographs, pH meters etc.).<br>Where discontinuous measurement is used, the system shall ensure that the sample taken is<br>representative of the batch of product.

  • 2.10.2 Records associated with the monitoring of each CCP shall include the date, time and result of<br>measurement and shall be signed by the person responsible for the monitoring and verified, when<br>appropriate, by an authorised person. Where records are in electronic form, there shall be evidence that<br>records have been checked and verified.

2.11 ESTABLISH A CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 10, PRINCIPLE 5)

  • 2.11.1 The HACCP food safety team shall specify and document the corrective action to be taken when<br>monitored results indicate a failure to meet a control limit, or when monitored results indicate a trend<br>towards loss of control. This shall include the action to be taken by nominated personnel with regard to<br>any products that have been manufactured during the period when the process was out of control.<br>

2.12 ESTABLISH VERIFICATION PROCEDURES (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 11, PRINCIPLE 6)

  • 2.12.1 Procedures of verification shall be established to confirm that the HACCP or food safety plan, including<br>controls managed by prerequisite programmes, continues to be effective. Examples of verification<br>activities include:<br>• internal audits<br>• review of records where acceptable limits have been exceeded<br>• review of complaints by enforcement authorities or customers<br>• review of incidents of product withdrawal or recall.<br>Results of verification shall be recorded and communicated to the HACCP food safety team.

2.13 HACCP DOCUMENTATION AND RECORD-KEEPING (EQUIVALENT TO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS STEP 12, PRINCIPLE 7)

  • 2.13.1 Documentation and record-keeping shall be sufficient to enable the site to verify that the HACCP and<br>food safety controls, including controls managed by prerequisite programmes, are in place and<br>maintained.

2.14 REVIEW THE HACCP PLAN

  • 2.14.1 The HACCP food safety team shall review the HACCP or food safety plan and prerequisite programmes<br>at least annually and prior to any changes which may affect food safety. As a guide, these may include<br>the following, although this is not an exhaustive list:<br>• change in raw materials or supplier of raw materials<br>• change in ingredients/recipe<br>• change in processing conditions, process flow or equipment<br>• change in packaging, storage or distribution conditions<br>• change in consumer use<br>• emergence of a new risk (e.g. known adulteration of an ingredient or other relevant, published<br>information, such as the recall of a similar product)<br>• review following a recall<br>• new developments in scientific information associated with ingredients, process or product.<br>Appropriate changes resulting from the review shall be incorporated into the HACCP or food safety plan<br>and/or prerequisite programmes, fully documented and the validation recorded.<br>Where appropriate, the changes shall also be reflected in the company’s product safety policy and food<br>safety objectives.

3 FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

  • The company’s processes and procedures to meet the requirements of this Standard shall be documented to allow
    consistent application, facilitate training, and support due diligence in the production of a safe product.

3.1 FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY MANUAL

  • 3.1.1 The site’s procedures, working methods and practices shall be collated in the form of a printed or<br>electronic quality manual.

  • 3.1.2 The food safety and quality manual shall be fully implemented and the manual or relevant components<br>shall be readily available to relevant staff.

  • 3.1.3 All procedures and work instructions shall be clearly legible, unambiguous, in appropriate languages<br>and sufficiently detailed to enable their correct application by appropriate staff. This shall include the use<br>of photographs, diagrams or other pictorial instructions where wrien communication alone is not<br>sufficient (e.g. there are issues of literacy or foreign language)

3.2 DOCUMENT CONTROL

  • The company shall operate an effective document control system to ensure that only the correct versions of documents,
    including recording forms, are available and in use.

  • 3.2.1 The company shall have a procedure to manage documents which form part of the food safety and<br>quality system. This shall include:<br>• a list of all controlled documents indicating the latest version number<br>• the method for the identification and authorisation of controlled documents<br>• a record of the reason for any changes or amendments to documents<br>• the system for the replacement of existing documents when these are updated.<br>Where documents are stored in electronic form these shall also be:<br>• stored securely (e.g. with authorised access, control of amendments, or password protected)<br>• backed up to prevent loss.

3.3 RECORD COMPLETION AND MAINTENANCE

  • The site shall maintain genuine records to demonstrate the effective control of product safety, legality and quality

  • 3.3.1 Records shall be legible, maintained in good condition and retrievable. Any alterations to records shall<br>be authorised and justification for the alteration shall be recorded. Where records are in electronic form<br>these shall also be:<br>• stored securely (e.g. with authorised access, control of amendments, or password protected)<br>• suitably backed up to prevent loss.

  • 3.3.2 Records shall be retained for a defined period with consideration given to:<br>• any legal or customer requirements<br>• the shelf life of the product.<br>This shall take into account, where it is specified on the label, the possibility that shelf life may be<br>extended by the consumer (e.g. by freezing).<br>At a minimum, records shall be retained for the shelf life of the product plus 12 months

3.4 INTERNAL AUDITS

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The company shall be able to demonstrate that it verifies the effective application of the food safety plan and the
    implementation of the requirements of the Global Standard for Food Safety.

  • 3.4.1 There shall be a scheduled programme of internal audits.<br>At a minimum, the programme shall include at least four different audit dates spread throughout the year.<br>The frequency at which each activity is audited shall be established in relation to the risks associated<br>with the activity and previous audit performance. All activities shall be covered at least once each year.<br>At a minimum, the scope of the internal audit programme shall include the:<br>• HACCP or food safety plan, including the activities to implement it (e.g. supplier approval, corrective<br>actions and verification)<br>• prerequisite programmes (e.g. hygiene, pest control)<br>• food defence and food fraud prevention plans<br>• procedures implemented to achieve the Standard.<br>Each internal audit within the programme shall have a defined scope and consider a specific activity or<br>section of the HACCP or food safety plan

  • 3.4.2 Internal audits shall be carried out by appropriately trained, competent auditors. Auditors shall be<br>independent (e.g. not audit their own work).

  • 3.4.3 The internal audit programme shall be fully implemented. Internal audit reports shall identify conformity<br>as well as non-conformity and include objective evidence of the findings.<br>The results shall be reported to the personnel responsible for the activity audited.<br>Corrective and preventive actions, and timescales for their implementation, shall be agreed and their<br>completion verified.

  • 3.4.4 In addition to the internal audit programme, there shall be a separate programme of documented<br>inspections to ensure that the factory environment and processing equipment are maintained in a<br>suitable condition for food production. At a minimum, these inspections shall include:<br>• hygiene inspections to assess cleaning and housekeeping performance<br>• fabrication inspections to identify risks to the product from the building or equipment.<br>The frequency of these inspections shall be based on risk but will be no less than once per month in<br>open product areas.

3.5 SUPPLIER AND RAW MATERIAL APPROVAL AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING

3.5.1 MANAGEMENT OF SUPPLIERS OF RAW MATERIALS AND PACKAGING

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The company shall have an effective supplier approval and monitoring system to ensure that any potential risks
    from raw materials (including primary packaging) to the safety, authenticity, legality and quality of the final product
    are understood and managed.

  • 3.5.1.1 The company shall undertake a documented risk assessment of each raw material or group of raw<br>materials including primary packaging to identify potential risks to product safety, legality and quality.<br>This shall take into account the potential for:<br>• allergen contamination<br>• foreign-body risks<br>• microbiological contamination<br>• chemical contamination<br>• variety or species cross-contamination<br>• substitution or fraud (see clause 5.4.2)<br>• any risks associated with raw materials which are subject to legislative control.<br>Consideration shall also be given to the significance of a raw material to the quality of the final product.<br>The risk assessment shall form the basis for the raw material acceptance and testing procedure and for<br>the processes adopted for supplier approval and monitoring.<br>The risk assessment for a raw material shall be updated:<br>• when there is a change in a raw material, the processing of a raw material, or the supplier of a raw<br>material<br>• if a new risk emerges<br>• following a product recall or withdrawal, where a specific raw material has been implicated<br>• at least every 3 years.

  • 3.5.1.2 The company shall have a documented supplier approval procedure to ensure that all suppliers of raw<br>materials, including primary packaging, effectively manage risks to raw material quality and safety and<br>are operating effective traceability processes. The approval procedure shall be based on risk and<br>include either one or a combination of:<br>• a valid certification to the applicable BRC Global Standard or GFSI-benchmarked standard. The<br>scope of the certification shall include the raw materials purchased<br>• supplier audits, with a scope to include product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good<br>manufacturing practices, undertaken by an experienced and demonstrably competent product<br>safety auditor. Where the supplier audit is completed by a second or third party, the company shall be<br>able to:<br>• demonstrate the competency of the auditor<br>• confirm that the scope of the audit includes product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good<br>manufacturing practices<br>• obtain and review a copy of the full audit report<br>or<br>• where a valid risk-based justification is provided and the supplier is assessed as low risk only, a<br>completed supplier questionnaire may be used for initial approval. The questionnaire shall have a<br>scope that includes product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good manufacturing practices,<br>and it shall have been reviewed and verified by a demonstrably competent person.

  • 3.5.1.3 There shall be a documented process for ongoing supplier performance review, based on risk and<br>defined performance criteria. The process shall be fully implemented.<br>Where approval is based on questionnaires, these shall be reissued at least every 3 years and suppliers<br>shall be required to notify the site of any significant changes in the interim, including any change in<br>certification status.<br>Records of the review shall be kept

  • 3.5.1.4 The site shall have an up-to-date list or database of approved suppliers. This may be on paper (hard<br>copy) or it may be controlled on an electronic system.<br>The list or relevant components of the database shall be readily available to the relevant staff (e.g. at<br>goods receipt).

  • 3.5.1.5 Where raw materials (including primary packaging) are purchased from companies that are not the<br>manufacturer, packer or consolidator (e.g. purchased from an agent, broker or wholesaler), the site shall<br>know the identity of the last manufacturer or packer, or for bulk commodity products the consolidation<br>place of the raw material.<br>Information to enable the approval of the manufacturer, packer or consolidator, as in clauses 3.5.1.1 and<br>3.5.1.2, shall be obtained from the agent/broker or directly from the supplier, unless the agent/broker is<br>themselves certificated to a BRC Standard (e.g. BRC Global Standard for Agents and Brokers) or a<br>standard benchmarked by GFSI.

  • 3.5.1.6 The company shall ensure that its suppliers of raw materials (including primary packaging) have an<br>effective traceability system. Where a supplier has been approved based on a questionnaire instead of<br>certification or audit, verification of the supplier’s traceability system shall be carried out on first approval<br>and then at least every 3 years. This may be achieved by a traceability test.<br>Where a raw material is received directly from a farm or fish farm, further verification of the farm’s<br>traceability system is not mandatory

  • 3.5.1.7 The procedures shall define how exceptions to the supplier approval processes in clause 3.5.1.2 are<br>handled (e.g. where raw material suppliers are prescribed by a customer) or where information for<br>effective supplier approval is not available (e.g. bulk agricultural commodity products) and instead<br>product testing is used to verify product quality and safety.<br>When a site produces customer-branded product, the customer shall be made aware of the relevant<br>exceptions.

3.5.2 RAW MATERIAL AND PACKAGING ACCEPTANCE, MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

  • Controls on the acceptance of raw materials (including primary packaging) shall ensure that these do not compromise the
    safety, legality or quality of products and where appropriate any claims of authenticity

  • 3.5.2.1 The company shall have a procedure for the acceptance of raw materials and primary packaging on<br>receipt based upon the risk assessment (clause 3.5.1.1). Acceptance of raw materials (including primary<br>packaging) and their release for use shall be based on either one or a combination of:<br>• product sampling and testing<br>• visual inspection on receipt<br>• certificates of analysis (specific to the consignment)<br>• certificates of conformance.<br>A list of raw materials (including primary packaging) and the requirements to be met for acceptance shall<br>be available. The parameters for acceptance and frequency of testing shall be clearly defined,<br>implemented and reviewed.

  • 3.5.2.2 Procedures shall be in place to ensure that approved changes to raw materials (including primary<br>packaging) are communicated to goods receipt personnel and that only the correct version of the raw<br>material is accepted. For example, when labels or printed packaging have been amended, only the<br>correct version should be accepted and released into production.

  • 3.5.2.3 Where the site is in receipt of live animals, there shall be an inspection by a suitably competent individual<br>at lairage and post mortem to ensure that the animals are fit for human consumption.

3.5.3 MANAGEMENT OF SUPPLIERS OF SERVICES

  • The company shall be able to demonstrate that where services are outsourced, the service is appropriate and any risks
    presented to food safety, legality and quality have been evaluated to ensure effective controls are in place.

  • 3.5.3.1 There shall be a procedure for the approval and monitoring of suppliers of services. Such services shall<br>include, as appropriate:<br>• pest control<br>• laundry services<br>• contracted cleaning<br>• contracted servicing and maintenance of equipment<br>• transport and distribution<br>• off-site storage of ingredients, packaging or products<br>• off-site packing of products<br>• laboratory testing<br>• catering services<br>• waste management.<br>This approval and monitoring process shall be risk-based and take into consideration:<br>• risk to the safety and quality of products<br>• compliance with any specific legal requirements<br>• potential risks to the security of the product (i.e. risks identified in the vulnerability and food defence<br>assessments).

  • 3.5.3.2 Contracts or formal agreements shall exist with the suppliers of services that clearly define service<br>expectations and ensure that the potential food safety risks associated with the service have been<br>addressed.

3.5.4 MANAGEMENT OF OUTSOURCED PROCESSING

  • Where any process step in the manufacture of a product is outsourced to a third party or undertaken at another site, this shall
    be managed to ensure it does not compromise the safety, legality, quality or authenticity of the product.

  • 3.5.4.1 The company shall be able to demonstrate that, where part of the production process or any part of the<br>final packing is outsourced and undertaken off-site, this has been declared to the brand owner and,<br>where required, approval granted.

  • 3.5.4.2 The company shall ensure that outsourced processors are approved and monitored, to ensure that they<br>effectively manage risks to product safety and quality and are operating effective traceability processes.<br>The approval and monitoring procedure shall be based on risk and include either one or a combination<br>of:<br>• a valid certification to the applicable BRC Global Standard or GFSI-benchmarked standard. The<br>scope of the certification shall include the raw materials purchased<br>or<br>• supplier audits, with a scope to include product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good<br>manufacturing practices, undertaken by an experienced and demonstrably competent product<br>safety auditor. Where this supplier audit is completed by a second or third party, the company shall be<br>able to:<br>• demonstrate the competency of the auditor<br>• confirm that the scope of the audit includes product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good<br>manufacturing practices<br>• obtain and review a copy of the full audit report.<br>There shall be a documented process for ongoing supplier performance review, based on risk and<br>defined performance criteria. The process shall be fully implemented. Records of the review shall be<br>kept

  • 3.5.4.3 Any outsourced processing operations shall:<br>• be undertaken in accordance with established contracts which clearly define any processing and/or<br>packing requirements and product specification<br>• maintain product traceability

  • 3.5.4.4 The company shall establish inspection and test procedures for products where part of the processing<br>has been outsourced, including visual, chemical and/or microbiological testing.<br>The frequency and methods of inspection or testing shall depend on risk assessment.

3.6 SPECIFICATIONS

  • Specifications shall exist for raw materials (including primary packaging), finished products and any product or service which
    could affect the integrity of the finished product.

  • 3.6.1 Specifications for raw materials and primary packaging shall be adequate and accurate and ensure<br>compliance with relevant safety and legislative requirements. The specifications shall include defined<br>limits for relevant aributes of the material which may affect the quality or safety of the final products (e.g.<br>chemical, microbiological or physical standards).

  • 3.6.2 Accurate, up-to-date specifications shall be available for all finished products. These may be in the form<br>of a printed or electronic document, or part of an online specification system.<br>They shall include key data to meet customer and legal requirements and assist the user in the safe<br>usage of the product.

  • 3.6.3 Where the company is manufacturing customer-branded products, it shall seek formal agreement of the<br>finished product specifications. Where specifications are not formally agreed then the company shall be<br>able to demonstrate that it has taken steps to ensure formal agreement is in place.

  • 3.6.4 Specification review shall be sufficiently frequent to ensure that data is current or at a minimum every 3<br>years, taking into account product changes, suppliers, regulations and other risks.<br>Reviews and changes shall be documented

3.7 CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE ACTIONS

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The site shall be able to demonstrate that it uses the information from identified failures in the food safety and
    quality management system to make necessary corrections and prevent recurrence.

  • 3.7.1 The site shall have a procedure for handling and correcting failures identified in the food safety and<br>quality management system.

  • 3.7.2 Where a non-conformity places the safety, legality or quality of products at risk, this shall be investigated<br>and recorded including:<br>• clear documentation of the non-conformity<br>• assessment of consequences by a suitably competent and authorised person<br>• the action to address the immediate issue<br>• an appropriate timescale for correction<br>• the person responsible for correction<br>• verification that the correction has been implemented and is effective.<br>

  • 3.7.3 The site shall have a procedure for the completion of root cause analysis. At a minimum root cause<br>analysis shall be used to implement ongoing improvements and to prevent recurrence of nonconformities when:<br>• analysis of non-conformities for trends shows there has been a significant increase in a type of<br>non-conformity<br>• a non-conformity places the safety, legality or quality of a product at risk.

3.8 CONTROL OF NON-CONFORMING PRODUCT

  • The site shall ensure that any out-of-specification product is effectively managed to prevent unauthorised release.

  • CLAUSE REQUIREMENTS<br>3.8.1 There shall be procedures for managing non-conforming products. These procedures shall include:<br>• the requirement for staff to identify and report a potentially non-conforming product<br>• clear identification of a non-conforming product (e.g. direct labelling or the use of IT systems)<br>• secure storage to prevent accidental release (e.g. physical or computer-based isolation)<br>• referral to the brand owner where required<br>• defined responsibilities for decision-making on the use or disposal of products appropriate to the<br>issue (e.g. destruction, reworking, downgrading to an alternative label or acceptance by concession)<br>• records of the decision on the use or disposal of the product<br>• records of destruction where a product is destroyed for food safety reasons.

3.9 TRACEABILITY

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The site shall be able to trace all raw material product lots (including primary packaging) from its suppliers through
    all stages of processing and dispatch to its customers and vice versa.

  • 3.9.1 The site shall have a documented traceability procedure designed to maintain traceability throughout<br>the site’s processes. At a minimum this shall include:<br>• how the traceability system works<br>• the labelling and records required

  • 3.9.2 Identification of raw materials (including primary packaging), intermediate/semi-processed products,<br>part-used materials, finished products and materials pending investigation shall be adequate to ensure<br>traceability

  • 3.9.3 The site shall test the traceability system across the range of product groups to ensure traceability can<br>be determined from the supplier of raw material (including primary packaging) to the finished product<br>and vice versa, including quantity check/mass balance.<br>The traceability test shall include a summary of the documents that should be referenced during the test,<br>and clearly show the links between them. The test shall occur at a predetermined frequency, at a<br>minimum annually, and results shall be retained for inspection. Traceability should be achievable within 4<br>hours

  • 3.9.4 Where rework or any reworking operation is performed, traceability shall be maintained.

3.10 COMPLAINT-HANDLING

  • Customer complaints shall be handled effectively and information used to reduce recurring complaint levels

  • 3.10.1 All complaints shall be recorded, investigated and the results of the investigation of the issue recorded<br>where sufficient information is provided. Actions appropriate to the seriousness and frequency of the<br>problems identified shall be carried out promptly and effectively by appropriately trained staff.

  • 3.10.2 Complaint data shall be analysed for significant trends. Where there has been a significant increase in a<br>complaint or a serious complaint, root cause analysis shall be used to implement ongoing improvements<br>to product safety, legality and quality, and to avoid recurrence. This analysis shall be made available to<br>relevant staff.

3.11 MANAGEMENT OF INCIDENTS, PRODUCT WITHDRAWAL AND PRODUCT RECALL

  • The company shall have a plan and system in place to manage incidents effectively and enable the withdrawal and recall of
    products should this be required.

  • 3.11.1 The company shall have procedures designed to report and effectively manage incidents and potential<br>emergency situations that impact food safety, legality or quality. This shall include consideration of<br>contingency plans to maintain product safety, quality and legality. Incidents may include:<br>• disruption to key services such as water, energy, transport, refrigeration processes, staff availability<br>and communications<br>• events such as fire, flood or natural disaster<br>• malicious contamination or sabotage<br>• failure of, or aacks against, digital cyber-security.<br>Where products which have been released from the site may be affected by an incident, consideration<br>shall be given to the need to withdraw or recall products.

  • 3.11.2 The company shall have a documented product withdrawal and recall procedure. This shall include, at a<br>minimum:<br>• identification of key personnel constituting the recall management team, with clearly identified<br>responsibilities<br>• guidelines for deciding whether a product needs to be recalled or withdrawn and the records to be<br>maintained<br>• an up-to-date list of key contacts (including out-of-hours contact details) or reference to the location<br>of such a list (e.g. recall management team, emergency services, suppliers, customers, certification<br>body, regulatory authority)<br>• a communication plan including the provision of information to customers, consumers and regulatory<br>authorities in a timely manner<br>• details of external agencies providing advice and support as necessary (e.g. specialist laboratories,<br>regulatory authority and legal expertise)<br>• a plan to handle the logistics of product traceability, recovery or disposal of affected product, and<br>stock reconciliation<br>• a plan to record timings of key activities<br>• a plan to conduct root cause analysis and to implement ongoing improvements, to avoid recurrence.<br>The procedure shall be capable of being operated at any time.

  • 3.11.3 The product recall and withdrawal procedures shall be tested, at least annually, in a way that ensures<br>their effective operation. Results of the test shall be retained and shall include timings of key activities.<br>The results of the test and of any actual recall shall be used to review the procedure and implement<br>improvements as necessary.

  • 3.11.4 In the event of a significant food safety incident, including a product recall or regulatory food safety<br>non-conformity (e.g. a regulatory enforcement notice), the certification body issuing the current<br>certificate for the site against this Standard shall be informed within 3 working days.

4 SITE STANDARDS

4.1 EXTERNAL STANDARDS

  • The production site shall be of suitable size, location and construction, and be maintained to reduce the risk of contamination
    and facilitate the production of safe and legal finished products.

  • 4.1.1 Consideration shall be given to local activities and the site environment, which may have an adverse<br>impact on finished product integrity, and measures shall be taken to prevent contamination. Where<br>measures have been put into place to protect the site (from potential contaminants, flooding etc.), they<br>shall be reviewed in response to any changes

  • 4.1.2 The external areas shall be maintained in good order. Where grassed or planted areas are located near<br>buildings, they shall be regularly tended and well maintained. External traffic routes under site control<br>shall be suitably surfaced and maintained in good repair to mitigate the risk of contamination of the<br>product.

  • 4.1.3 The building fabric shall be maintained to minimise potential for product contamination (e.g. elimination<br>of bird-roosting sites, sealing gaps around pipes to prevent pest entry, ingress of water and other<br>contaminants).

4.2 SITE SECURITY AND FOOD DEFENCE

  • Systems shall protect products, premises and brands from malicious actions while under the control of the site

  • 4.2.1 The company shall undertake a documented risk assessment (threat assessment) of the potential risks<br>to products from any deliberate aempt to inflict contamination or damage. This threat assessment shall<br>include both internal and external threats.<br>The output from this assessment shall be a documented threat assessment plan. This plan shall be kept<br>under review to reflect changing circumstances and market intelligence. It shall be formally reviewed at<br>least annually and whenever:<br>• a new risk emerges (e.g. a new threat is publicised or identified)<br>• an incident occurs, where product security or food defence is implicated.

  • 4.2.2 Where raw materials or products are identified as being at particular risk, the threat assessment plan<br>shall include controls to mitigate these risks. Where prevention is not sufficient or possible, systems shall<br>be in place to identify any tampering.<br>These controls shall be monitored, the results documented, and the controls reviewed at least annually.

  • 4.2.3 Areas where a significant risk is identified shall be defined, monitored and controlled. These shall include<br>external storage and intake points for products and raw materials (including packaging).<br>Policies and systems shall be in place to ensure that only authorised personnel have access to<br>production and storage areas, and that access to the site by employees, contractors and visitors is<br>controlled. A visitor recording system shall be in place.<br>Staff shall be trained in site security procedures and food defence.

  • 4.2.4 Where required by legislation, the site shall maintain appropriate registrations with the relevant<br>authorities.

4.3 LAYOUT, PRODUCT FLOW AND SEGREGATION

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The factory layout, flow of processes and movement of personnel shall be sufficient to prevent the risk of product
    contamination and to comply with relevant legislation.

  • 4.3.1 There shall be a map of the site. At a minimum, this map shall define:<br>• access points for personnel<br>• access points for raw materials (including packaging), semi-finished products and open products<br>• routes of movement for personnel<br>• routes of movement for raw materials (including packaging)<br>• routes for the removal of waste<br>• routes for the movement of rework<br>• location of any staff facilities, including changing rooms, toilets, canteens and smoking areas<br>• production process flows.

  • 4.3.2 Contractors and visitors, including drivers, shall be made aware of all procedures for access to premises<br>and the requirements of the areas they are visiting, with special reference to hazards and potential<br>product contamination. Contractors working in product processing or storage areas shall be the<br>responsibility of a nominated person.

  • 4.3.3 The movement of personnel, raw materials, packaging, rework and/or waste shall not compromise the<br>safety of products. The process flow, together with the use of demonstrably effective procedures, shall<br>be in place to minimise the risk of the contamination of raw materials, intermediate/semi-processed<br>products, packaging and finished products.

  • 4.3.4 Premises shall allow sufficient working space and storage capacity to enable all operations to be carried<br>out properly under safe hygienic conditions.

  • 4.3.5 Temporary structures constructed during building work or refurbishment etc. shall be designed and<br>located to avoid pest harbourage and ensure the safety and quality of products.

4.4 BUILDING FABRIC, RAW MATERIAL HANDLING, PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKING AND STORAGE AREAS

  • The fabrication of the site, buildings and facilities shall be suitable for the intended purpose.

  • 4.4.1 Walls shall be finished and maintained to prevent the accumulation of dirt, minimise condensation and<br>mould growth, and facilitate cleaning

  • 4.4.2 Floors shall be suitably hard-wearing to meet the demands of the process, and withstand cleaning<br>materials and methods. They shall be impervious, be maintained in good repair and facilitate cleaning.

  • 4.4.3 Drainage, where provided, shall be sited, designed and maintained to minimise risk of product<br>contamination and not compromise product safety. Machinery and piping shall be arranged so that,<br>wherever feasible, process waste water goes directly to drain. Where significant amounts of water are<br>used, or direct piping to drain is not feasible, floors shall have adequate falls to cope with the flow of any<br>water or effluent towards suitable drainage.

  • 4.4.4 Ceilings and overheads shall be constructed, finished and maintained to prevent the risk of product<br>contamination.

  • 4.4.5 Where suspended ceilings or roof voids are present, adequate access to the void shall be provided to<br>facilitate inspection for pest activity, unless the void is fully sealed.

  • 4.4.6 Where elevated walkways are adjacent to or pass over production lines, they shall be:<br>• designed to prevent contamination of products and production lines<br>• easy to clean<br>• correctly maintained.

  • 4.4.7 Where there is a risk to product, windows and roof glazing which are designed to be opened for<br>ventilation purposes shall be adequately screened to prevent the ingress of pests

  • 4.4.8 Doors (both internal and external) shall be maintained in good condition. At a minimum:<br>• external doors and dock levellers shall be close fiing or adequately proofed<br>• external doors to open product areas shall not be opened during production periods except in<br>emergencies<br>• where external doors to enclosed product areas are opened, suitable precautions shall be taken to<br>prevent pest ingress

  • 4.4.9 Suitable and sufficient lighting shall be provided for correct operation of processes, inspection of<br>product and effective cleaning.

  • 4.4.10 Adequate ventilation and extraction shall be provided in product storage and processing environments<br>to prevent condensation or excessive dust.<br>

4.5 UTILITIES – WATER, ICE, AIR AND OTHER GASES

  • Utilities used within the production and storage areas shall be monitored to effectively control the risk of product
    contamination

  • 4.5.1 All water (including ice and steam) used as a raw material in the manufacture of processed food, the<br>preparation of product, hand-washing or for equipment or plant cleaning shall be supplied in sufficient<br>quantity, be potable at point of use or pose no risk of contamination according to applicable legislation.<br>The microbiological and chemical quality of water shall be analysed at least annually. The sampling<br>points, scope of the test and frequency of analysis shall be based on risk, taking into account the source<br>of the water, on-site storage and distribution facilities, previous sample history and usage

  • 4.5.2 An up-to-date schematic diagram shall be available of the water distribution system on site, including<br>holding tanks, water treatment and water recycling as appropriate. The diagram shall be used as a basis<br>for water sampling and the management of water quality.

  • 4.5.3 Air and other gases used as an ingredient or that are in direct contact with products shall be monitored to<br>ensure this does not represent a contamination risk. Compressed air that is in direct contact with the<br>product shall be filtered at point of use.

4.6 EQUIPMENT

  • All food-processing equipment shall be suitable for the intended purpose and shall be used to minimise the risk of
    contamination of product.

  • 4.6.1 All equipment shall be constructed of appropriate materials. The design and placement of equipment<br>shall ensure it can be effectively cleaned and maintained.

  • 4.6.2 Equipment that is in direct contact with food shall be suitable for food contact and meet legal<br>requirements where applicable.

4.7 MAINTENANCE

  • An effective maintenance programme shall be in operation for plant and equipment to prevent contamination and reduce the
    potential for breakdowns.

  • 4.7.1 There shall be a documented planned maintenance schedule or condition monitoring system which<br>includes all plant and processing equipment. The maintenance requirements shall be defined when<br>commissioning new equipment

  • 4.7.2 In addition to any planned maintenance programme, where there is a risk of product contamination by<br>foreign bodies arising from equipment damage, the equipment shall be inspected at predetermined<br>intervals, the inspection results documented and appropriate action taken.

  • 4.7.3 Where temporary repairs are made, these shall be documented and controlled to ensure that the safety<br>or legality of products is not jeopardised. These temporary measures shall be permanently repaired as<br>soon as practicable and within a defined timescale

  • 4.7.4 The site shall ensure that the safety or legality of products is not jeopardised during maintenance and<br>subsequent cleaning operations. Maintenance work shall be followed by a documented hygiene<br>clearance procedure.<br>Equipment and machinery shall be inspected by an authorised member of staff to confirm the removal of<br>contamination hazards, before being accepted back into operation.<br>

  • 4.7.5 Materials and parts used for equipment and plant maintenance shall be of an appropriate grade or<br>quality.<br>Those materials (such as lubricating oil) that pose a risk by direct or indirect contact with raw materials<br>(including primary packaging), intermediate products and finished products shall be food grade and of a<br>known allergen status

  • 4.7.6 Engineering workshops shall be kept clean and tidy, and controls shall be in place to prevent transfer of<br>engineering debris to production or storage areas.

4.8 STAFF FACILITIES

  • Staff facilities shall be sufficient to accommodate the required number of personnel, and shall be designed and operated to
    minimise the risk of product contamination. The facilities shall be maintained in good and clean condition.

  • 4.8.1 Designated changing facilities shall be provided for all personnel, whether staff, visitor or contractor.<br>These shall be sited to allow direct access to the production, packing or storage areas without recourse<br>to any external area. Where this is not possible, a risk assessment shall be carried out and procedures<br>implemented accordingly (e.g. the provision of cleaning facilities for footwear)

  • 4.8.2 Storage facilities of sufficient size to accommodate personal items shall be provided for all personnel<br>who work in raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas.

  • 4.8.3 Outdoor clothing and other personal items shall be stored separately from production clothing within the<br>changing facilities. Facilities shall be available to separate clean and dirty production clothing.

  • 4.8.4 Suitable and sufficient hand-washing facilities shall be provided at access to, and at other appropriate<br>points within, production areas. Such hand-washing facilities shall provide, at a minimum:<br>• advisory signs to prompt hand-washing<br>• a sufficient quantity of water at a suitable temperature<br>• water taps with hands-free operation<br>• liquid/foam soap<br>• single-use towels or suitably designed and located air driers.

  • 4.8.5 Toilets shall be adequately segregated and shall not open directly into production or packing areas.<br>Toilets shall be provided with hand-washing facilities comprising:<br>• basins with soap and water at a suitable temperature<br>• adequate hand-drying facilities<br>• advisory signs to prompt hand-washing.<br>Where hand-washing facilities within toilet facilities are the only facilities provided before re-entering<br>production, the requirements of clause 4.8.4 shall apply and signs shall be in place to direct people to<br>hand-washing facilities before entering production.

  • 4.8.6 Where smoking is allowed under national law, designated controlled smoking areas shall be provided<br>which are both isolated from production areas to an extent that ensures smoke cannot reach the product<br>and fied with sufficient extraction to the exterior of the building. Adequate arrangements for dealing<br>with smokers’ waste shall be provided at smoking facilities, both inside and at exterior locations.<br>Electronic cigarees shall not be permied to be used or brought into production or storage areas.

  • 4.8.7 All food brought into manufacturing premises by staff shall be appropriately stored in a clean and<br>hygienic state. No food shall be taken into storage, processing or production areas. Where eating of<br>food is allowed outside during breaks, this shall be in suitable designated areas with appropriate control<br>of waste

  • 4.8.8 Where catering facilities (including vending machines) are provided on the premises, they shall be<br>suitably controlled to prevent contamination of products (e.g. as a source of food poisoning or<br>introduction of allergenic material to the site).

4.9 CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PRODUCT CONTAMINATION CONTROL: RAW MATERIAL HANDLING, PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKING AND STORAGE AREAS

  • Appropriate facilities and procedures shall be in place to control the risk of chemical or physical contamination of product

4.9.1 CHEMICAL CONTROL

  • 4.9.1.1 Processes shall be in place to manage the use, storage and handling of non-food chemicals to prevent<br>chemical contamination. These shall include, at a minimum:<br>• an approved list of chemicals for purchase<br>• availability of material safety data sheets and specifications<br>• confirmation of suitability for use in a food-processing environment<br>• avoidance of strongly scented products<br>• the labelling and/or identification of containers of chemicals at all times<br>• a designated storage area with restricted access to authorised personnel<br>• use by trained personnel only.

  • 4.9.1.2 Where strongly scented or taint-forming materials have to be used, for instance for building work,<br>procedures shall be in place to prevent the risk of taint contamination of products.

4.9.2 METAL CONTROL

  • 4.9.2.1 There shall be a documented policy for the controlled use and storage of sharp metal implements<br>including knives, cuing blades on equipment, needles and wires. This shall include a record of<br>inspection for damage and the investigation of any lost items. Snap-off blade knives shall not be used.

  • 4.9.2.2 The purchase of ingredients and packaging which use staples or other foreign-body hazards as part of<br>the packaging materials shall be avoided.<br>Staples, paper clips and drawing pins shall not be used in open product areas.<br>Where staples or other items are present as packaging materials or closures, appropriate precautions<br>shall be taken to minimise the risk of product contamination.<br>

4.9.3 GLASS, BRITTLE PLASTIC, CERAMICS AND SIMILAR MATERIALS

  • 4.9.3.1 Glass or other brile materials shall be excluded or protected against breakage in areas where open<br>products are handled or there is a risk of product contamination.

  • 4.9.3.2 Procedures for handling glass and other brile materials (other than product packaging) shall be in place<br>where open products are handled or there is a risk of product contamination. These procedures shall<br>include, at a minimum:<br>• a list of items detailing location, number, type and condition<br>• recorded checks of the condition of items, carried out at a specified frequency that is based on the<br>level of risk to the product<br>• details on cleaning or replacing items to minimise the potential for product contamination.

  • 4.9.3.3 Procedures detailing the action to be taken in case of breakage of glass or other brile items shall be<br>implemented and include the following:<br>• training of staff in the correct procedure<br>• quarantining the products and production area that were potentially affected<br>• cleaning the production area<br>• inspecting the production area and authorising production to continue<br>• changing of workwear and inspection of footwear<br>• specifying those staff authorised to carry out the above points<br>• recording the breakage incident<br>• safely disposing of contaminated product.

  • 4.9.3.4 Where they pose a risk to product, glass windows shall be protected against breakage

  • 4.9.3.5 Where they pose a risk to product, bulbs and strip lights (including those on electric fly-killer devices)<br>shall be adequately protected. Where full protection cannot be provided, alternative management such<br>as wire-mesh screens or monitoring procedures shall be in place.

4.9.4 PRODUCTS PACKED INTO GLASS OR OTHER BRITTLE CONTAINERS

  • 4.9.4.1 The storage of the containers shall be segregated from the storage of raw materials, product or other packaging.

  • 4.9.4.2 Systems shall be in place to manage container breakages between the container cleaning/inspection<br>point and container closure. This shall include, at a minimum, documented instructions which ensure:<br>• the removal and disposal of at-risk products in the vicinity of the breakage; this may be specific for<br>different equipment or areas of the production line<br>• the effective cleaning of the line or equipment which may be contaminated by fragments of the<br>container; cleaning shall not result in the further dispersal of fragments, for instance by the use of<br>high-pressure water or air<br>• the use of dedicated, clearly identifiable cleaning equipment (e.g. colour-coded) for removal of<br>container breakages; such equipment shall be stored separately from other cleaning equipment<br>• the use of dedicated, accessible, lidded waste containers for the collection of damaged containers<br>and fragments<br>• a documented inspection of production equipment is undertaken following the cleaning of a<br>breakage to ensure cleaning has effectively removed any risk of further contamination<br>• authorisation is given for production to restart following cleaning<br>• the area around the line is kept clear of broken glass.

  • 4.9.4.3 Records shall be maintained of all container breakages on the line. Where no breakages have occurred<br>during a production period, this shall also be recorded. This record shall be reviewed to identify trends<br>and potential line or container improvements.

4.9.5 WOOD

  • 4.9.5.1 Wood should not be used in open product areas except where this is a process requirement (e.g.<br>maturation of products in wood). Where the use of wood cannot be avoided, the condition of wood shall<br>be continually monitored to ensure it is in good condition and free from damage or splinters which could<br>contaminate products.

4.9.6 OTHER PHYSICAL CONTAMINANTS

  • 4.9.6.1 Procedures shall be in place to prevent physical contamination of raw materials by raw material<br>packaging (e.g. during debagging and deboxing procedures to remove the packaging).

  • 4.9.6.2 Pens used in open product areas shall be controlled to minimise the risk of physical contamination (e.g.<br>designed without small parts and detectable by foreign-body detection equipment).

4.10 FOREIGN-BODY DETECTION AND REMOVAL EQUIPMENT

  • The risk of product contamination shall be reduced or eliminated by the effective use of equipment to remove or detect
    foreign bodies.

4.10.1 SELECTION AND OPERATION OF FOREIGN-BODY DETECTION AND REMOVAL EQUIPMENT

  • 4.10.1.1 A documented assessment in association with the HACCP study shall be carried out on each production<br>process to identify the potential use of equipment to detect or remove foreign-body contamination.<br>Typical equipment to be considered may include:<br>• filters<br>• sieves<br>• metal detection<br>• magnets<br>• optical sorting equipment<br>• X-ray detection equipment<br>• other physical separation equipment (e.g. gravity separation, fluid bed technology).

  • 4.10.1.2 The type, location and sensitivity of the detection and/or removal method shall be specified as part of<br>the site’s documented system. Industry best practice shall be applied with regard to the nature of the<br>ingredient, material, product and/or the packed product. The location of the equipment or any other<br>factors influencing the sensitivity of the equipment shall be validated and justified.

  • 4.10.1.3 The site shall ensure that the frequency of the testing of the foreign-body detection and/or removal<br>equipment is defined and takes into consideration:<br>• specific customer requirements<br>• the site’s ability to identify, hold and prevent the release of any affected materials, should the<br>equipment fail.<br>The site shall establish and implement corrective action and reporting procedures in the event of a<br>failure of the foreign-body detector and/or removal equipment. Action shall include a combination of<br>isolation, quarantining and re-inspection of all products produced since the last successful test or<br>inspection.

  • 4.10.1.4 Where foreign material is detected or removed by the equipment, the source of any unexpected material<br>shall be investigated. Information on rejected materials shall be used to identify trends and, where<br>possible, instigate preventive action to reduce the occurrence of contamination by the foreign material.

4.10.2 FILTERS AND SIEVES

  • 4.10.2.1 Filters and sieves used for foreign-body control shall be of a specified mesh size or gauge and designed<br>to provide the maximum practical protection for the product.

  • 4.10.2.2 Filters and sieves shall be regularly inspected or tested for damage at a documented frequency based<br>on risk. Records shall be maintained of the checks. Where defective filters or sieves are identified this<br>shall be recorded and the potential for contamination of products investigated and appropriate action<br>taken.

4.10.3 METAL DETECTORS AND X-RAY EQUIPMENT

  • 4.10.3.1 Metal detection equipment shall be in place unless risk assessment demonstrates that this does not<br>improve the protection of final products from metal contamination. Where metal detectors are not used<br>justification shall be documented. The absence of metal detection would only normally be based on the<br>use of an alternative, more effective method of protection (e.g. use of X-ray, fine sieves or filtration of<br>products).

  • 4.10.3.2 The metal detector or X-ray equipment shall incorporate one of the following:<br>• an automatic rejection device, for continuous in-line systems, which shall either divert contaminated<br>product out of the product flow or to a secure unit accessible only to authorised personnel<br>• a belt stop system with an alarm where the product cannot be automatically rejected (e.g. for very<br>large packs)<br>• in-line detectors which identify the location of the contaminant to allow effective segregation of the<br>affected product.

  • 4.10.3.3 The site shall establish and implement procedures for the operation and testing of the metal detection or<br>X-ray equipment. This shall include, at a minimum:<br>• responsibilities for the testing of equipment<br>• the operating effectiveness and sensitivity of the equipment and any variation to this for particular<br>products<br>• the methods and frequency of checking the detector<br>• recording of the results of checks.

  • 4.10.3.4 Metal detector testing procedures shall, at a minimum, include:<br>• use of test pieces incorporating a sphere of metal of a known diameter selected on the basis of risk.<br>The test pieces shall be marked with the size and type of test material contained<br>• tests carried out using separate test pieces containing ferrous metal, stainless steel and typically<br>non-ferrous metal, unless the product is within a foil container where a ferrous-only test may be<br>applicable<br>• a test to prove that both the detection and rejection mechanisms are working effectively under normal<br>working conditions<br>• tests of the metal detector by passing successive test packs through the unit at typical line operating<br>speed<br>• checks of failsafe systems fied to the detection and rejection systems.<br>In addition, where metal detectors are incorporated on conveyors, the test piece shall be passed as<br>close as possible to the centre of the metal detector aperture. Wherever possible, the test piece shall be<br>inserted within a clearly identified sample pack of the food being produced at the time of the test.<br>Where in-line metal detectors are used, the test piece shall be placed in the product flow wherever this is<br>possible and the correct timing of the rejection system to remove identified contamination shall be<br>validated. Testing of in-line metal detectors shall be completed during both line start-up and at the end<br>of the production period.

4.10.4 MAGNETS

  • 4.10.4.1 The type, location and strength of magnets shall be fully documented. Procedures shall be in place for<br>the inspection, cleaning, strength testing and integrity checks. Records of all checks shall be<br>maintained.

4.10.5 OPTICAL SORTING EQUIPMENT

  • 4.10.5.1 Each unit shall be checked in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or recommendations.<br>Checks shall be documented.

4.10.6 CONTAINER CLEANLINESS – GLASS JARS, CANS AND OTHER RIGID CONTAINERS

  • 4.10.6.1 Based on risk assessment, procedures shall be implemented to minimise foreign-body contamination<br>originating from the packaging container (e.g. jars, cans and other pre-formed rigid containers). This<br>may include the use of covered conveyors, container inversion and foreign-body removal through<br>rinsing with water or air jets

  • 4.10.6.2 The effectiveness of the container-cleaning equipment shall be checked and recorded during each<br>production. Where the system incorporates a rejection system for dirty or damaged containers, the<br>check shall incorporate a test of both the detection and effective rejection of the test container.

4.11 HOUSEKEEPING AND HYGIENE

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    Housekeeping and cleaning systems shall be in place which ensure approp

  • 4.11.1 The premises and equipment shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.

  • 4.11.2 Documented cleaning procedures shall be in place and maintained for the building, plant and all<br>equipment. Cleaning procedures for the processing equipment and food contact surfaces shall, at a<br>minimum, include:<br>• responsibility for cleaning<br>• item/area to be cleaned<br>• frequency of cleaning<br>• method of cleaning, including dismantling equipment for cleaning purposes where required<br>• cleaning chemicals and concentrations<br>• cleaning materials to be used<br>• cleaning records and responsibility for verification.<br>The frequency and methods of cleaning shall be based on risk.<br>The procedures shall be implemented to ensure appropriate standards of cleaning are achieved

  • 4.11.3 Limits of acceptable and unacceptable cleaning performance shall be defined for food contact surfaces<br>and processing equipment. These limits shall be based on the potential hazards relevant to the product<br>or processing area (e.g. microbiological, allergen, foreign-body contamination or product-to-product<br>contamination). Therefore, acceptable levels of cleaning may be defined by visual appearance, ATP<br>bioluminescence techniques (see glossary), microbiological testing, allergen testing or chemical testing<br>as appropriate.<br>The site shall define the corrective action to be taken when monitored results are outside of the<br>acceptable limits.<br>Where cleaning procedures are part of a defined prerequisite plan to control the risk of a specific hazard,<br>the cleaning and disinfection procedures and their frequency shall be validated and records maintained.<br>This shall include the risk from cleaning chemical residues on food contact surfaces.

  • 4.11.4 The resources for undertaking cleaning shall be available. Where it is necessary to dismantle equipment<br>for cleaning purposes or to enter large equipment for cleaning, this shall be appropriately scheduled<br>and, where necessary, planned for non-production periods. Cleaning staff shall be adequately trained or<br>engineering support provided where access within equipment is required for cleaning.

  • 4.11.5 The cleanliness of equipment shall be checked before equipment is released back into production. The<br>results of checks on cleaning, including visual, analytical and microbiological checks, shall be recorded<br>and used to identify trends in cleaning performance and to instigate improvements where required.

  • 4.11.6 Cleaning equipment shall be:<br>• hygienically designed and fit for purpose<br>• suitably identified for intended use (e.g. colour-coded or labelled)<br>• cleaned and stored in a hygienic manner to prevent contamination.

4.11.7 CLEANING IN PLACE (CIP)

  • 4.11.7.1 All CIP equipment shall be designed and constructed to ensure effective operation. This shall include:<br>• validation confirming the correct design and operation of the system<br>• an up-to-date schematic diagram of the layout of the CIP system<br>• where rinse solutions are recovered and reused, an assessment of the risk of cross-contamination<br>(e.g. due to the re-introduction of allergen).<br>Alterations or additions to the CIP system shall be authorised by a suitably competent individual before<br>changes are made. A record of changes shall be maintained.<br>The system shall be revalidated at a frequency based on risk, and following any alteration or addition

  • 4.11.7.2 Limits of acceptable and unacceptable performance for key process parameters shall be defined to<br>ensure the removal of target hazards (e.g. soil, allergens, micro-organisms, spores). At a minimum these<br>parameters shall include:<br>• times for each stage<br>• detergent concentrations<br>• flow rate and pressure<br>• temperatures.<br>These shall be validated and records of the validation maintained

  • 4.11.7.3 The CIP equipment shall be maintained by suitably trained staff to ensure effective cleaning is carried<br>out. This shall include:<br>• detergent concentrations shall be checked routinely<br>• recovered post-rinse solutions shall be monitored for build-up of carry-over from the detergent tanks<br>• filters, where fied, shall be cleaned and inspected at a defined frequency<br>• where used, flexible hoses shall be stored hygienically when not in use, and inspected at a defined<br>frequency to ensure that they are in good condition.

  • 4.11.7.4 CIP facilities, where used, shall be monitored at a defined frequency based on risk. This may include:<br>• monitoring of process parameters defined in clause 4.11.7.2<br>• ensuring correct connections, piping and seings are in place<br>• confirming the process is operating correctly (e.g. valves opening/closing sequentially)<br>• ensuring effective completion of the cleaning cycle<br>• monitoring for effective results, including draining where required.<br>Procedures shall define the action to be taken if monitoring indicates that processing is outside the<br>defined limits.

4.11.8 ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

  • Risk-based environmental monitoring programmes shall be in place for pathogens or spoilage organisms. At a minimum,
    these shall include all production areas with open and ready-to-eat products

  • 4.11.8.1 The design of the environmental monitoring programme shall be based on risk, and at a minimum<br>include:<br>• sampling protocol<br>• identification of sample locations<br>• frequency of tests<br>• target organism(s) (e.g. pathogens, spoilage organisms and/or indicator organisms)<br>• test methods (e.g. sele plates, rapid testing and swabs)<br>• recording and evaluation of results.<br>The programme and its associated procedures shall be documented.

  • 4.11.8.2 Appropriate control limits shall be defined for the environmental monitoring programme.<br>The company shall document the corrective action to be taken when monitored results indicate a failure<br>to meet a control limit, or when monitored results indicate an upward trend of positive results.

  • 4.11.8.3 The company shall review the environmental monitoring programme at least annually and whenever<br>there are:<br>• changes in processing conditions, process flow or equipment<br>• new developments in scientific information<br>• failures of the programme to identify a significant issue (e.g. regulatory authority tests identifying<br>positive results which the site programme did not)<br>• product failures (products with positive tests)<br>• consistently negative results (e.g. a site with a long history of negative results should review its<br>programme to consider whether the correct parts of the factory are being tested, whether the testing<br>is being conducted correctly, whether the tests are for the appropriate organisms, etc.)

4.12 WASTE/WASTE DISPOSAL

  • Waste disposal shall be managed in accordance with legal requirements and to prevent accumulation, risk of contamination
    and the araction of pests.

  • 4.12.1 Where licensing is required by law for the removal of waste, it shall be removed by licensed contractors<br>and records of removal shall be maintained and available for audit.

  • 4.12.2 Internal and external waste collection containers and rooms housing waste facilities shall be managed to<br>minimise risk. These shall be:<br>• clearly identified<br>• designed for ease of use and effective cleaning<br>• well maintained to allow cleaning and, where required, disinfection<br>• emptied at appropriate frequencies.<br>External waste containers shall be covered or doors kept closed as appropriate.

  • 4.12.3 If unsafe products or substandard trademarked materials are transferred to a third party for destruction<br>or disposal, that third party shall be a specialist in secure product or waste disposal and shall provide<br>records which include the quantity of waste collected for destruction or disposal.

4.13 MANAGEMENT OF SURPLUS FOOD AND PRODUCTS FOR ANIMAL FEED

  • Effective processes shall be in place to ensure the safety and legality of by-products of the primary processing activity
    of the site.

  • 4.13.1 Surplus customer-branded products shall be disposed of in accordance with customer-specific<br>requirements. Customer brand names shall be removed from packed surplus products under the control<br>of the factory before the product enters the supply chain, unless otherwise authorised by the customer

  • 4.13.2 Where customer-branded products which do not meet specifications are sold to staff or passed on to<br>charities or other organisations, this shall be with the prior consent of the brand owner. Processes shall<br>be in place to ensure that all products are fit for consumption and meet legal requirements.

  • 4.13.3 By-products and downgraded/surplus products intended for animal feed shall be segregated from<br>waste and protected from contamination during storage. Products for animal feed shall be managed in<br>accordance with the relevant legislative requirements

4.14 PEST MANAGEMENT

  • The whole site shall have an effective preventive pest management programme in place to minimise the risk of infestation and
    resources shall be available to respond rapidly to any issues which occur to prevent risk to products.
    Pest management programmes shall comply with all applicable legislation.

  • 4.14.1 If pest activity is identified, it shall not present a risk of contamination to products, raw materials or<br>packaging.<br>The presence of any infestation on site shall be documented in pest management records and be part of<br>an effective pest control programme to eliminate or manage the infestation so that it does not present a<br>risk to products, raw materials or packaging

  • 4.14.2 The site shall either contract the services of a competent pest management organisation or have<br>appropriately trained staff for the regular inspection and treatment of the site to deter and eradicate<br>infestation.<br>The frequency of inspections shall be determined by risk assessment and shall be documented. The risk<br>assessment shall be reviewed whenever:<br>• there are changes to the building or production processes which could have an impact on the pest<br>management programme<br>• there has been a significant pest issue.<br>Where the services of a pest management contractor are employed, the service scope shall be clearly<br>defined and reflect the activities of the site.<br>Service provision regardless of the source shall meet with all applicable regulatory requirements.

  • 4.14.3 Where a site undertakes its own pest management, it shall be able to effectively demonstrate that:<br>• pest management operations are undertaken by trained and competent staff with sufficient<br>knowledge to select appropriate pest control chemicals and proofing methods and understand the<br>limitations of use, relevant to the biology of the pests associated with the site<br>• staff undertaking pest management activities meet any legal requirements for training or registration<br>• sufficient resources are available to respond to any infestation issues<br>• there is ready access to specialist technical knowledge when required<br>• legislation governing the use of pest control products is understood and complied with<br>• dedicated locked facilities are used for the storage of pesticides.

  • 4.14.4 Pest management documentation and records shall be maintained. At a minimum, this shall include:<br>• an up-to-date plan of the full site, identifying pest control devices and their locations<br>• identification of the baits and/or monitoring devices on site<br>• clearly defined responsibilities for the site management and the contractor<br>• details of pest control products used, including instructions for their effective use and action to be<br>taken in case of emergencies<br>• any observed pest activity<br>• details of pest control treatments undertaken.<br>Records may be on paper (hard copy) or controlled on an electronic system (e.g. an online reporting<br>system).

  • 4.14.5 Bait stations or other rodent monitoring or control devices shall be appropriately located and maintained<br>to prevent contamination risk to product. Toxic rodent baits shall not be used within production or<br>storage areas where open product is present except when treating an active infestation. Where toxic<br>baits are used, these shall be secured.<br>Any missing bait stations shall be recorded, reviewed and investigated.

  • 4.14.6 Insect-killing devices, pheromone traps and/or other insect monitoring devices shall be appropriately<br>sited and operational. If there is a danger of insects being expelled from a fly-killing extermination device<br>and contaminating the product, alternative systems and equipment shall be used.

  • 4.14.7 The site shall have adequate measures in place to prevent birds from entering buildings or roosting<br>above loading or unloading areas

  • 4.14.8 In the event of infestation, or evidence of pest activity, immediate action shall be taken to identify at-risk<br>products and to minimise the risk of product contamination. Any potentially affected products should be<br>subject to the non-conforming product procedure.

  • 4.14.9 Records of pest management inspections, pest proofing and hygiene recommendations and actions<br>taken shall be maintained. It shall be the responsibility of the site to ensure that all of the relevant<br>recommendations made by its contractor or in-house expert are carried out in a timely manner

  • 4.14.10 An in-depth, documented pest management survey shall be undertaken at a frequency based on risk,<br>but at least annually, by a pest control expert to review the pest management measures in place. The<br>survey shall:<br>• provide an in-depth inspection of the facility for pest activity<br>• review the existing pest management measures in place and make any recommendations for<br>change.<br>The survey shall be timed to allow access to equipment for inspection where a risk of stored product<br>insect infestation exists.

  • 4.14.11 Results of pest management inspections shall be assessed and analysed for trends on a regular basis.<br>At a minimum, results of inspections shall be analysed:<br>• annually or<br>• in the event of an infestation.<br>The analysis shall include results from trapping and monitoring devices to identify problem areas. The<br>analysis shall be used as a basis for improving the pest management procedures.

  • 4.14.12 Employees shall understand the signs of pest activity and be aware of the need to report any evidence of<br>pest activity to a designated manager.

4.15 STORAGE FACILITIES

  • All facilities used for the storage of raw materials, packaging, in-process products and finished products shall be suitable for
    purpose.

  • 4.15.1 Procedures to maintain product safety and quality during storage shall be developed on the basis of risk<br>assessment, understood by relevant staff and implemented accordingly. These may include, as<br>appropriate:<br>• managing chilled and frozen product transfer between temperature-controlled areas<br>• segregation of products where necessary to avoid cross-contamination (physical, microbiological or<br>allergens) or taint uptake<br>• storing materials off the floor and away from walls<br>• specific handling or stacking requirements to prevent product damage

  • 4.15.2 Where appropriate, packaging shall be stored away from other raw materials and finished product. Any<br>part-used packaging materials suitable for use shall be effectively protected from contamination and<br>clearly identified to maintain traceability before being returned to an appropriate storage area.

  • 4.15.3 Where temperature control is required (e.g. for raw materials, semi-finished materials or final products),<br>the storage area shall be capable of maintaining product temperature within specification and operated<br>to ensure specified temperatures are maintained. Temperature recording equipment with suitable<br>temperature alarms shall be fied to all storage facilities or there shall be a system of recorded manual<br>temperature checks, typically on at least a 4-hourly basis or at a frequency which allows for intervention<br>before product temperatures exceed defined limits for the safety, legality or quality of products.

  • 4.15.4 Where controlled atmosphere storage is required, the storage conditions shall be specified and<br>effectively controlled. Records shall be maintained of the storage conditions.

  • 4.15.5 Where storage outside is necessary, items shall be protected from contamination and deterioration.<br>Items shall be checked for suitability before being brought into the factory.

  • 4.15.6 The site shall facilitate correct stock rotation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished<br>products in storage and ensure that materials are used in the correct order in relation to their<br>manufacturing date and within the prescribed shelf life.

4.16 DISPATCH AND TRANSPORT

  • Procedures shall be in place to ensure that the management of dispatch and of the vehicles and containers used for
    transporting products from the site do not present a risk to the safety, security or quality of the products.

  • 4.16.1 Procedures to maintain product safety and quality during loading and transportation shall be developed<br>and implemented. These may include, as appropriate:<br>• controlling temperature of loading dock areas and vehicles<br>• the use of covered bays for vehicle loading or unloading<br>• securing loads on pallets to prevent movement during transit<br>• inspection of loads prior to dispatch.

  • 4.16.2 All vehicles or containers used for the transport of raw materials and the dispatch of products shall be fit<br>for purpose. This shall ensure that they are:<br>• in a clean condition<br>• free from strong odours which may cause taint to products<br>• in a suitable condition to prevent damage to products during transit<br>• equipped to ensure any temperature requirements can be maintained throughout transportation.<br>Records of inspections shall be maintained.

  • 4.16.3 Where temperature control is required, the transport shall be capable of maintaining product<br>temperature within specification, under minimum and maximum load. Temperature data-logging<br>devices which can be interrogated to confirm time/temperature conditions or a system to monitor and<br>record at predetermined frequencies the correct operation of refrigeration equipment shall be used and<br>records maintained.

  • 4.16.4 Maintenance systems and documented cleaning procedures shall be available for all vehicles and<br>equipment used for loading/unloading. There shall be records of the measures taken.<br>

  • 4.16.5 The company shall have procedures for the transport of products, which shall include:<br>• any restrictions on the use of mixed loads<br>• requirements for the security of products during transit, particularly when vehicles are parked and<br>unaended<br>• clear instructions in the case of vehicle breakdown, accident or failure of refrigeration systems, which<br>ensure that the safety of the products is assessed and records maintained.

  • 4.16.6 Where the company employs third-party contractors, all the requirements specified in this section shall<br>be clearly defined in the contract or terms and conditions and verified, or the contracted company shall<br>be certificated to the Global Standard for Storage and Distribution or similar GFSI-recognised scheme.

5 PRODUCT CONTROL

5.1 PRODUCT DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT

  • Product design and development procedures shall be in place for new products or processes and any changes to product,
    packaging or manufacturing processes to ensure that safe and legal products are produced.

  • 5.1.1 The company shall provide clear guidelines on any restrictions to the scope of new product<br>developments to control the introduction of hazards which would be unacceptable to the site or<br>customers (e.g. the introduction of allergens, glass packaging or microbiological risks)

  • 5.1.2 All new products and changes to product formulation, packaging or methods of processing shall be<br>formally approved by the HACCP team leader or authorised HACCP commiee member. This shall<br>ensure that hazards have been assessed and suitable controls, identified through the HACCP system,<br>are implemented. This approval shall be granted before products are introduced into the factory<br>environment.

  • 5.1.3 Trials using production equipment shall be carried out where it is necessary to validate that product<br>formulation and manufacturing processes are capable of producing a safe product of the required<br>quality

  • 5.1.4 Initial shelf-life trials shall be undertaken using documented protocols that reflect conditions expected<br>during manufacture, storage, transport/distribution, use and handling to determine product shelf life.<br>Results shall be recorded and retained and shall confirm compliance with the relevant microbiological,<br>chemical and organoleptic criteria/sensory analysis. Where shelf-life trials prior to production are<br>impractical, for instance for some long-life products, a documented science-based justification for the<br>assigned shelf life shall be produced.

5.2 PRODUCT LABELLING

  • Product labelling shall comply with the appropriate legal requirements and contain information to enable the safe handling,
    display, storage and preparation of the product within the food supply chain or by the customer.

  • 5.2.1 All products shall be labelled to meet legal requirements for the designated country of use and shall<br>include information to allow the safe handling, display, storage, preparation and use of the product within<br>the food supply chain or by the customer. There shall be a process to verify that ingredient and allergen<br>labelling is correct based on the product recipe and ingredient specifications.

  • 5.2.2 There shall be effective processes in place to ensure that labelling information is reviewed whenever<br>changes occur to:<br>• the product recipe<br>• raw materials<br>• the supplier of raw materials<br>• the country of origin of raw materials<br>• legislation.

  • 5.2.3 Where a product is designed to enable a claim to be made to satisfy a consumer group (e.g. a nutritional<br>claim, reduced sugar), the company shall ensure that the product formulation and production process<br>are fully validated to meet the stated claim.

  • 5.2.4 Where the label information is the responsibility of a customer or a nominated third party, the company<br>shall provide information:<br>• to enable the label to be accurately created<br>• whenever a change occurs which may affect the label information.

  • 5.2.5 Where cooking instructions are provided to ensure product safety, they shall be fully validated to ensure<br>that, when the product is cooked according to the instructions, a safe, ready-to-eat product is<br>consistently produced.

5.3 MANAGEMENT OF ALLERGENS

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The site shall have a system for the management of allergenic materials which minimises the risk of allergen
    contamination of products and meets legal requirements for labelling in the country of sale.

  • 5.3.1 The site shall carry out an assessment of raw materials to establish the presence and likelihood of<br>contamination by allergens (see glossary). This shall include a review of the raw material specifications<br>and, where required, the acquisition of additional information from suppliers (e.g. through<br>questionnaires to understand the allergen status of the raw material, its ingredients and the factory in<br>which it is produced).

  • 5.3.2 The company shall identify and list allergen-containing materials handled on site. This shall include raw<br>materials, processing aids, intermediate and finished products, and any new product development<br>ingredients or products

  • 5.3.3 A documented risk assessment shall be carried out to identify routes of contamination and establish<br>documented policies and procedures for handling raw materials and intermediate and finished products<br>to ensure cross-contamination (cross-contact) is avoided. This assessment shall include:<br>• consideration of the physical state of the allergenic material (i.e. powder, liquid, particulate)<br>• identification of potential points of cross-contamination (cross-contact) through the process flow<br>• assessment of the risk of allergen cross-contamination (cross-contact) at each process step<br>• identification of suitable controls to reduce or eliminate the risk of cross-contamination (crosscontact).

  • 5.3.4 Procedures shall be established to ensure the effective management of allergenic materials to prevent<br>cross-contamination (cross-contact) of products not containing the allergen. These shall include, as<br>appropriate:<br>• physical or time segregation while allergen-containing materials are being stored, processed or<br>packed<br>• the use of separate or additional protective overclothing when handling allergenic materials<br>• use of identified, dedicated equipment and utensils for processing<br>• scheduling of production to reduce changes between products containing an allergen and products<br>not containing the allergen<br>• systems to restrict the movement of airborne dust containing allergenic material<br>• waste handling and spillage controls<br>• restrictions on food brought onto site by staff, visitors and contractors and for catering purposes

  • 5.3.5 Where rework is used, or reworking operations are carried out, procedures shall be implemented to<br>ensure rework containing allergens is not used in products that do not already contain the allergen.

  • 5.3.6 Where a justified, risk-based assessment demonstrates that the nature of the production process is<br>such that cross-contamination (cross-contact) from an allergen cannot be prevented, a warning should<br>be included on the label. National guidelines or codes of practice shall be used when making such a<br>warning statement.

  • 5.3.7 Where a claim is made regarding the suitability of a food for allergy or food sensitivity sufferers, the site<br>shall ensure that the production process is fully validated to meet the stated claim and the effectiveness<br>of the process is routinely verified. This shall be documented.

  • 5.3.8 Equipment or area-cleaning procedures shall be designed to remove or reduce to acceptable levels any<br>potential cross-contamination (cross-contact) by allergens. The cleaning methods shall be validated to<br>ensure that they are effective and the effectiveness of the procedure routinely verified. Cleaning<br>equipment used to clean allergenic materials shall either be identifiable and specific for allergen use,<br>single use, or effectively cleaned aer use.

5.4 PRODUCT AUTHENTICITY, CLAIMS AND CHAIN OF CUSTODY

  • Systems shall be in place to minimise the risk of purchasing fraudulent or adulterated food raw materials and to ensure that all
    product descriptions and claims are legal, accurate and verified.

  • 5.4.1 The company shall have processes in place to access information on historical and developing threats<br>to the supply chain which may present a risk of adulteration or substitution of raw materials (i.e.<br>fraudulent raw materials). Such information may come from, for example:<br>• trade associations<br>• government sources<br>• private resource centres.

  • 5.4.2 A documented vulnerability assessment shall be carried out on all food raw materials or groups of raw<br>materials to assess the potential risk of adulteration or substitution. This shall take into account:<br>• historical evidence of substitution or adulteration<br>• economic factors which may make adulteration or substitution more aractive<br>• ease of access to raw materials through the supply chain<br>• sophistication of routine testing to identify adulterants<br>• the nature of the raw material.<br>The output from this assessment shall be a documented vulnerability assessment plan. This plan shall<br>be kept under review to reflect changing economic circumstances and market intelligence which may<br>alter the potential risks. It shall be formally reviewed annually.

  • 5.4.3 Where raw materials are identified as being at particular risk of adulteration or substitution, the<br>vulnerability assessment plan shall include appropriate assurance and/or testing processes to mitigate<br>the identified risks

  • 5.4.4 Where products are labelled or claims are made on finished packs which are dependent on the status of<br>a raw material, the status of each batch of the raw material shall be verified. These claims include:<br>• specific provenance or origin<br>• breed/varietal claims<br>• assured status (e.g. GlobalG.A.P.)<br>• genetically modified organism (GMO) status<br>• identity preserved<br>• named specific trademarked ingredients.<br>The facility shall maintain purchasing records, traceability of raw material usage and final product<br>packing records to substantiate claims. The site shall undertake documented mass balance tests at a<br>frequency to meet the particular scheme requirements or at least every 6 months in the absence of a<br>scheme-specific requirement.

  • 5.4.5 Where claims are made about the methods of production (e.g. organic, halal, kosher) the site shall<br>maintain the necessary certification status in order to make such a claim.

  • 5.4.6 The process flow for the production of products where claims are made shall be documented and<br>potential areas for contamination or loss of identity identified. Appropriate controls shall be established<br>to ensure the integrity of the product claims.

5.5 PRODUCT PACKAGING

  • Product packaging shall be appropriate for the intended use and shall be stored under conditions to prevent contamination
    and minimise deterioration.

  • 5.5.1 When purchasing or specifying primary packaging, the supplier of packaging materials shall be made<br>aware of any particular characteristics of the food (e.g. high fat content, pH, usage conditions such as<br>microwaving, other packaging used on the product) which may affect packaging suitability. Certificates<br>of conformity or other evidence shall be available for primary packaging to confirm it complies with<br>applicable food safety legislation and is suitable for its intended use.

  • 5.5.2 Product liners and bags purchased by the company for use in direct contact with ingredients, or work in<br>process, shall be appropriately coloured (e.g. contrasting colour to the product) and resistant to tearing<br>to prevent accidental contamination.

  • 5.5.3 The company shall have a procedure to manage obsolete packaging (including labels). This shall<br>include:<br>• mechanisms to prevent accidental use of obsolete packaging<br>• control and disposal of obsolete packaging<br>• appropriate procedures for the disposal of obsolete printed materials (e.g. rendering trademarked<br>materials unusable).

5.6 PRODUCT INSPECTION AND LABORATORY TESTING

  • The company shall undertake or subcontract inspection and analyses which are critical to confirm product safety, legality,
    integrity and quality, using appropriate procedures, facilities and standards

5.6.1 PRODUCT INSPECTION AND TESTING

  • 5.6.1.1 There shall be a scheduled programme of product testing which may include microbiological, chemical, physical and organoleptic testing according to risk. The methods, frequency and specified limits shall be documented.

  • 5.6.1.2 Test and inspection results shall be recorded and reviewed regularly to identify trends. The significance of external laboratory results shall be understood and acted upon accordingly. Appropriate actions shall be implemented promptly to address any unsatisfactory results or trends.

  • 5.6.1.3 The site shall ensure that a system of validation and ongoing verification of the shelf life is in place. This shall be based on risk and shall include sensory analysis and, as applicable, microbiological testing and relevant chemical factors such as pH and aw. Records and results from shelf-life tests shall verify the shelf-life period indicated on the product.

5.6.2 LABORATORY TESTING

  • 5.6.2.1 Pathogen testing (including pathogens tested as part of the environmental testing) shall be<br>subcontracted to an external laboratory or, where conducted internally, the laboratory facility shall be fully segregated from the production and storage areas and have operating procedures to prevent any risk of product contamination.

  • 5.6.2.2 Where routine testing laboratories are present on a manufacturing site, they shall be located, designed and operated to eliminate potential risks to product safety. Controls shall be documented, implemented and include consideration of:<br>• design and operation of drainage and ventilation systems<br>• access and security of the facility<br>• movement of laboratory personnel<br>• protective clothing arrangements<br>• processes for obtaining product samples<br>• disposal of laboratory waste.

  • 5.6.2.3 Where the company undertakes or subcontracts analyses which are critical to product safety or legality, the laboratory or subcontractors shall have gained recognised laboratory accreditation or operate in accordance with the requirements and principles of ISO/IEC 17025. Documented justification shall be available where accredited methods are not undertaken.

  • 5.6.2.4 Procedures shall be in place to ensure reliability of laboratory results, other than those critical to safety<br>and legality specified in clause 5.6.2.3. These shall include:<br>• use of recognised test methods, where available<br>• documented testing procedures<br>• ensuring staff are suitably qualified and/or trained and competent to carry out the analysis required<br>• use of a system to verify the accuracy of test results (e.g. ring or proficiency testing)<br>• use of appropriately calibrated and maintained equipment.

  • 5.6.2.5 The significance of laboratory results shall be understood and acted upon accordingly.<br>Appropriate action shall be taken promptly to address any unsatisfactory results or trends.<br>Where legal limits apply, these shall be understood and appropriate action taken promptly to address any exceedance of these limits.

5.7 PRODUCT RELEASE

  • The site shall ensure that finished product is not released unless all agreed procedures have been followed

  • 5.7.1 Where products require positive release, procedures shall be in place to ensure that release does not occur until all release criteria have been completed and the release has been authorised.

5.8 PET FOOD

  • The site shall ensure that pet food products are safe and fit for intended use

  • 5.8.1 The site shall ensure pet food is formulated/designed for the intended use (e.g. where products are<br>designed for complete diet or as a complementary product).

  • 5.8.2 Where a site’s product range includes pet food products for different animal species, the site shall have<br>specific procedures for the management of any ingredients, raw materials, products or rework that could<br>be harmful to unintended recipients.

  • 5.8.3 Where the site manufactures, processes or packs pet food products that contain medicinal substances,<br>the site shall have specific procedures for the management of the medicated raw materials and finished<br>products. At a minimum, these procedures shall include:<br>• identification of medication-containing materials handled on site. These can be raw materials,<br>processing aids, intermediate and finished products, rework or any new product or product<br>development ingredients<br>• mechanisms to ensure the correct concentrations of medicinal substances in finished products<br>• procedures (e.g. cleaning procedures) to prevent contamination of non-medicated pet food with<br>materials containing medicinal substances<br>• specific procedures to ensure the correct labelling of medicated pet food.

6 PROCESS CONTROL

6.1 CONTROL OF OPERATIONS

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The site shall have a system for the management of allergenic materials which minimises the risk of allergen
    contamination of products and meets legal requirements for labelling in the country of sale.

  • 6.1.1 Documented process specifications and work instructions/procedures shall be available for the key<br>processes in the production of products to ensure product safety, legality and quality. The<br>specifications/procedures as appropriate shall include:<br>• recipes – including identification of any allergens<br>• mixing instructions, speed, time<br>• equipment process seings<br>• cooking times and temperatures<br>• cooling times and temperatures<br>• labelling instructions<br>• coding and shelf-life marking<br>• any additional critical control points identified in the HACCP or food safety plan.<br>Process specifications shall be in accordance with the agreed finished product specification.

  • 6.1.2 Where equipment seings are critical to the safety or legality of the product, changes to the equipment<br>seings shall only be completed by trained and authorised staff. Where applicable, controls shall be<br>password-protected or otherwise restricted.

  • 6.1.3 Process monitoring, such as of temperature, time, pressure and chemical properties, shall be<br>implemented, adequately controlled and recorded to ensure that product is produced within the<br>required process specification.

  • 6.1.4 In circumstances where process parameters or product quality are controlled by in-line monitoring<br>devices, these shall be linked to a suitable failure alert system that is routinely tested.

  • 6.1.5 Where variation in processing conditions may occur within equipment critical to the safety or quality of<br>products, the processing characteristics shall be validated and verified at a frequency based on risk and<br>performance of equipment (e.g. heat distribution in retorts, ovens and processing vessels; temperature<br>distribution in freezers and cold stores).

  • 6.1.6 In the case of equipment failure or deviation of the process from specification, procedures shall be in<br>place to establish the safety status and quality of the product to determine the action to be taken.<br>

6.2 LABELLING AND PACK CONTROL

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The management controls of product labelling activities shall ensure that products will be correctly labelled and
    coded.

  • 6.2.1 There shall be a formal process for the allocation of packaging materials to packing lines and control in<br>the packing area which ensures that only the packaging for immediate use is available to the packing<br>machines.<br>Where offline coding or printing of packaging materials occurs:<br>• seing and amendments to the printer parameters (e.g. the input of, or changes to, date codes) shall<br>only be completed by an authorised member of staff<br>• controls shall be in place to ensure that only correctly printed material is available at the packing<br>machines.

  • 6.2.2 Documented checks of the production line shall be carried out before commencing production and<br>following changes of product. These shall ensure that lines have been suitably cleared and are ready for<br>production. Documented checks shall be carried out at product changes to ensure that all products and<br>packaging from the previous production have been removed from the line before changing to the next<br>production.

  • 6.2.3 Procedures shall be in place to ensure that all products are packed into the correct packaging and<br>correctly labelled. These shall include checks:<br>• at the start of packing<br>• during the packing run<br>• when changing batches of packaging materials<br>• at the end of each production run.<br>The checks shall also include verification of any printing carried out at the packing stage including, as<br>appropriate:<br>• date coding<br>• batch coding<br>• quantity indication<br>• pricing information<br>• bar coding<br>• country of origin<br>• allergen information.<br>

  • 6.2.4 Where online verification equipment (e.g. bar code scanners) is used to check product labels and<br>printing, the site shall establish and implement procedures for the operation and testing of the<br>equipment to ensure that the system is correctly set up and capable of alerting or rejecting product<br>when packaging information is out of specification.<br>At a minimum, testing of the equipment shall be completed at:<br>• the start of the packing run<br>• the end of the packing run<br>• a frequency based on the site’s ability to identify, hold and prevent the release of any implicated<br>materials should the equipment fail (e.g. during the packing run or when changing batches of<br>packaging materials).<br>The site shall establish and implement procedures in the event of a failure in the online verification<br>equipment (e.g. a documented and trained manual checking procedure)

6.3 QUANTITY – WEIGHT, VOLUME AND NUMBER CONTROL

  • The site shall operate a quantity control system which conforms to legal requirements in the country where the product is sold
    and any additional industry sector codes or specified customer requirements

  • 6.3.1 The frequency and methodology of quantity checking shall meet the requirements of the appropriate<br>legislation governing quantity verification, and records of checks shall be retained.

  • 6.3.2 Where the quantity of the product is not governed by legislative requirements (e.g. bulk quantity), the<br>product must conform to customer requirements and records shall be maintained.

  • 6.3.3 Where used, the site shall establish procedures for the operation and testing of online check weighers.<br>At a minimum, this shall include:<br>• consideration of any legal requirements<br>• responsibilities for testing the equipment<br>• operating effectiveness and any variations for particular products<br>• methods and frequency of testing the check weighers<br>• records of the test results.

6.4 CALIBRATION AND CONTROL OF MEASURING AND MONITORING DEVICES

  • The site shall be able to demonstrate that measuring equipment is sufficiently accurate and reliable to provide confidence in
    measurement results.

  • 6.4.1 The site shall identify and control measuring equipment used to monitor critical control points and<br>product safety, legality and quality. This shall include, at a minimum:<br>• a documented list of equipment and its location<br>• an identification code and calibration due date<br>• prevention from adjustment by unauthorised staff<br>• protection from damage, deterioration or misuse.

  • 6.4.2 All identified measuring devices, including new equipment, shall be checked and, where necessary,<br>adjusted:<br>• at a predetermined frequency, based on risk assessment<br>• to a defined method traceable to a recognised national or international standard where possible.<br>Results shall be documented. Equipment shall be readable and be of a suitable accuracy for the<br>measurements it is required to perform

  • 6.4.3 Reference measuring equipment shall be calibrated and traceable to a recognised national or<br>international standard and records maintained. The uncertainty of calibration shall be considered when<br>equipment is used to assess critical limits.

  • 6.4.4 Procedures shall be in place to record actions to be taken when the prescribed measuring devices are<br>found not to be operating within specified limits. Where the safety or legality of products is based on<br>equipment found to be inaccurate, action shall be taken to ensure at-risk product is not offered for sale.

7 PERSONNEL

7.1 TRAINING: RAW MATERIAL HANDLING, PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKING AND STORAGE AREAS

  • FUNDAMENTAL
    The company shall ensure that all personnel performing work that affects product safety, legality and quality are
    demonstrably competent to carry out their activity, through training, work experience or qualification.

  • 7.1.1 All relevant personnel, including agency-supplied staff, temporary staff and contractors, shall be<br>appropriately trained prior to commencing work and adequately supervised throughout the working<br>period.

  • 7.1.2 Where personnel are engaged in activities relating to critical control points, relevant training and<br>competency assessment shall be in place.

  • 7.1.3 The site shall put in place documented programmes covering the training needs of relevant personnel.<br>These shall include, at a minimum:<br>• identifying the necessary competencies for specific roles<br>• providing training or other action to ensure staff have the necessary competencies<br>• reviewing the effectiveness of training<br>• delivery of training in the appropriate language of trainees

  • 7.1.4 All relevant personnel, including engineers, agency-supplied staff, temporary staff and contractors, shall<br>have received general allergen awareness training and be trained in the site’s allergen-handling<br>procedures.

  • 7.1.5 All relevant personnel (including relevant agency-supplied staff, temporary staff and contractors) shall<br>have received training on the site’s labelling and packing processes which are designed to ensure the<br>correct labelling and packing of products.

  • 7.1.6 Records of all training shall be available. These shall include, at a minimum:<br>• the name of the trainee and confirmation of aendance<br>• the date and duration of the training<br>• the title or course contents, as appropriate<br>• the training provider<br>• for internal courses, a reference to the material, work instruction or procedure that is used in the<br>training.<br>Where training is undertaken by agencies on behalf of the company, records of the training shall be<br>available.

  • 7.1.7 The company shall routinely review the competencies of its staff. As appropriate, it shall provide relevant<br>training. This may be in the form of training, refresher training, coaching, mentoring or on-the-job<br>experience.

7.2 PERSONAL HYGIENE: RAW MATERIAL HANDLING, PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKING AND STORAGE AREAS

  • The site’s personal hygiene standards shall be developed to minimise the risk of product contamination from personnel, be
    appropriate to the products produced and be adopted by all personnel, including agency-supplied staff, contractors and
    visitors to the production facility.

  • 7.2.1 The requirements for personal hygiene shall be documented and communicated to all personnel. These<br>shall include, at a minimum, the following:<br>• watches shall not be worn<br>• jewellery shall not be worn, with the exception of a plain wedding ring, wedding wristband or medical<br>alert jewellery<br>• rings and studs in exposed parts of the body, such as ears, noses and eyebrows, shall not be worn<br>• fingernails shall be kept short, clean and unvarnished<br>• false fingernails and nail art shall not be permied<br>• excessive perfume or aershave shall not be worn.<br>Compliance with the requirements shall be checked routinely

  • 7.2.2 Hand-washing shall be performed on entry to the production areas and at a frequency that is appropriate<br>to minimise the risk of product contamination.<br>

  • 7.2.3 All cuts and grazes on exposed skin shall be covered by an appropriately coloured plaster that is<br>different from the product colour (preferably blue) and contains a metal detectable strip. These shall be<br>site-issued and monitored. Where appropriate, in addition to the plaster, a glove shall be worn.

  • 7.2.4 Where metal detection equipment is used, a sample from each batch of plasters shall be successfully<br>tested through the equipment and records shall be kept.

  • 7.2.5 Processes and wrien instructions for staff shall be in place to control the use and storage of personal<br>medicines, so as to minimise the risk of product contamination.<br>

7.3 MEDICAL SCREENING

  • The company shall have procedures in place to ensure that employees, agency staff, contractors or visitors are not a source
    of transmission of food-borne diseases to products.

  • 7.3.1 The site shall make employees aware of the symptoms of infection, disease or condition which would<br>prevent a person working with open food. The site shall have a procedure which enables notification by<br>employees, including temporary employees, of any relevant symptoms, infection, disease or condition<br>with which they may have been in contact or be suffering from.

  • 7.3.2 Where there may be a risk to product safety, visitors and contractors shall be made aware of the types of<br>symptoms, infection, disease or condition which would prevent a person visiting areas with open food.<br>Where permied by law, visitors shall be required to complete a health questionnaire or otherwise<br>confirm that they are not suffering from any symptoms which may put product safety at risk, prior to<br>entering the raw material, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas.

  • 7.3.3 There shall be procedures for employees, contractors and visitors relating to action to be taken where<br>they may be suffering from or have been in contact with an infectious disease. Expert medical advice<br>shall be sought where required.

7.4 PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: EMPLOYEES OR VISITORS TO PRODUCTION AREAS

  • Suitable site-issued protective clothing shall be worn by employees, contractors or visitors working in or entering
    production areas.

  • 7.4.1 The company shall document and communicate to all employees (including agency and temporary<br>personnel), contractors or visitors the rules regarding the wearing of protective clothing in specified<br>work areas (e.g. production areas, storage areas etc.). This shall also include policies relating to the<br>wearing of protective clothing away from the production environment (e.g. removal before entering<br>toilets, and use of canteen and smoking areas).

  • 7.4.2 Protective clothing shall be available that:<br>• is provided in sufficient numbers for each employee<br>• is of suitable design to prevent contamination of the product (at a minimum containing no external<br>pockets above the waist or sewn-on buons)<br>• fully contains all scalp hair to prevent product contamination<br>• includes snoods for beards and moustaches, where required, to prevent product contamination.

  • 7.4.3 Laundering of protective clothing shall take place by an approved contracted or in-house laundry using<br>defined criteria to validate the effectiveness of the laundering process. The laundry must operate<br>procedures which ensure:<br>• adequate segregation between dirty and cleaned clothes<br>• effective cleaning of the protective clothing<br>• cleaned clothes are supplied protected from contamination until use (e.g. by the use of covers or<br>bags).<br>Washing of protective clothing by the employee is exceptional but shall be acceptable where the<br>protective clothing is to protect the employee from the products handled and the clothing is worn in<br>enclosed product or low-risk areas only.

  • 7.4.4 Protective clothing shall be changed at an appropriate frequency, based on risk

  • 7.4.5 If gloves are used, they shall be replaced regularly. Where appropriate, gloves shall be suitable for food<br>use, of a disposable type, of a distinctive colour (blue where possible), be intact and not shed loose<br>fibres.

  • 7.4.6 Where items of personal protective clothing that are not suitable for laundering are provided (such as<br>chain mail, gloves and aprons), these shall be cleaned and sanitised at a frequency based on risk.

8 HIGH-RISK, HIGH-CARE AND AMBIENT HIGH-CARE PRODUCTION RISK ZONES

  • Where a site produces products that require handling in high-risk, high-care and/or ambient high-care production facilities (see
    Appendix 2 for the definition of products that require these facilities), all the relevant requirements from sections 1–7 of the
    Standard must be fulfilled in addition to the requirements in this section.

8.1 LAYOUT, PRODUCT FLOW AND SEGREGATION IN HIGH-RISK, HIGH-CARE AND AMBIENT HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • The site shall be able to demonstrate that production facilities and controls are suitable to prevent pathogen contamination of
    products.

  • 8.1.1 The map of the site (see clause 4.3.1) shall include areas (zones) where the product is at different levels of<br>risk from contamination. The map shall show:<br>• high-risk areas<br>• high-care areas<br>• ambient high-care areas<br>• low-risk areas<br>• enclosed product areas<br>• non-product areas.<br>See Appendix 2 for guidelines on defining the production risk zones.<br>This zoning shall be taken into account when determining the prerequisite programmes for the particular<br>areas of the site.

  • 8.1.2 Where high-risk areas are part of the manufacturing site, there shall be physical segregation between<br>these areas and other parts of the site. Segregation shall take into account the flow of product, the nature<br>of the materials (including packaging), the equipment, the personnel, the disposal of waste, the flow of<br>air, the air quality, and the provision of utilities (including drains). The location of transfer points shall not<br>compromise the segregation between high-risk areas and other areas of the factory. Practices shall be in<br>place to minimise the risk of product contamination (e.g. the disinfection of materials on entry).

  • 8.1.3 Where high-care areas are part of the manufacturing site, there should be physical segregation between<br>these areas and other parts of the site. Segregation shall take into account the flow of product, the nature<br>of materials (including packaging), the equipment, the personnel, the disposal of waste, the flow of air,<br>the air quality, and the provision of utilities (including drains). Where physical barriers are not in place, the<br>site shall have undertaken a documented risk assessment of the potential for cross-contamination, and<br>effective, validated processes shall be in place to protect products from contamination.

  • 8.1.4 Where ambient high-care areas are required, a documented risk assessment shall be completed to<br>determine the risk of cross-contamination with pathogens. The risk assessment shall take into account<br>the potential sources of microbiological contamination and include:<br>• the raw materials and products<br>• the flow of raw materials, packaging, products, equipment, personnel and waste<br>• air flow and quality<br>• the provision and location of utilities (including drains).<br>Effective processes shall be in place to protect the final product from microbiological contamination.<br>These processes may include segregation, management of process flow or other controls.

8.2 BUILDING FABRIC IN HIGH-RISK AND HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • 8.2.1 Where sites include high-risk or high-care facilities, there shall be a map of the drains for these areas<br>which shows the direction of flow and the location of any equipment fied to prevent the back-up of<br>waste water. The flow from drains shall not present a risk of contamination to the high-risk/care area.

  • 8.2.2 High-risk areas shall be supplied with sufficient changes of filtered air. The filter specification used and<br>frequency of air changes shall be documented, based on a risk assessment that takes into account the<br>source of the air and the requirement to maintain a positive air pressure relative to the surrounding areas.

8.3 MAINTENANCE IN HIGH-RISK AND HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • 8.3.1 Maintenance activities undertaken in high-risk and high-care areas shall respect the segregation<br>requirements of the area. Wherever possible, tools and equipment shall be dedicated for use in that area<br>and retained in the same.

  • 8.3.2 Where equipment is removed from the high-risk or high-care area, the site shall have a procedure to<br>ensure the cleanliness and removal of contamination hazards before being accepted back into the area.<br>Records of acceptance back into the area shall be maintained.

  • 8.3.3 Where portable equipment (e.g. handheld devices) is used in high-risk or high-care areas, these items<br>shall either be:<br>• visually distinctive and dedicated for use in that area<br>or<br>• have specific procedures (e.g. a full clean) to ensure that their use does not result in contamination.

8.4 STAFF FACILITIES FOR HIGH-RISK AND HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • 8.4.1 Where an operation includes a high-risk or high-care area, personnel shall enter via a specially<br>designated changing facility at the entrance to the area. The changing facilities shall incorporate the<br>following:<br>• clear instructions for the order of changing into and out of dedicated protective clothes to prevent the<br>contamination of clean clothing<br>• protective clothing that is visually distinct from that worn in other areas and which shall not be worn<br>outside the area<br>• a hand-washing routine during the changing procedure to prevent contamination of the clean<br>clothing (i.e. hand-washing aer hair covering and footwear have been put on, but before handling<br>clean protective clothing)<br>• provision and use of hand-washing and disinfection facilities. At a minimum these shall be:<br>• prior to entry for high-risk areas<br>• on entry for high-care areas<br>• dedicated site footwear that is provided by the site and which shall not be worn outside the factory<br>• an effective control of footwear to prevent the introduction of pathogens into the area. Control may be<br>by segregation and a controlled change of footwear before entering the area (such as a barrier or<br>bench system) or by the use of controlled and managed boot-wash facilities where these<br>demonstrably provide an effective control of footwear to prevent the introduction of pathogens into<br>the area.<br>A programme of environmental monitoring shall be used to assess the effectiveness of footwear<br>controls.

8.5 HOUSEKEEPING AND HYGIENE IN HIGH-RISK AND HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • 8.5.1 Environmental cleaning procedures in high-care/high-risk areas shall, at a minimum, include:<br>• responsibility for cleaning<br>• item/area to be cleaned<br>• frequency of cleaning<br>• method of cleaning, including dismantling equipment for cleaning purposes where required<br>• cleaning chemicals and concentrations<br>• cleaning materials to be used<br>• cleaning records and responsibility for verification.<br>The frequency and methods of cleaning shall be based on risk, and the procedures shall be<br>implemented to ensure that appropriate standards of cleaning are achieved.

  • 8.5.2 Microbiological limits for acceptable and unacceptable cleaning performance shall be defined for<br>high-risk/high-care production risk zones.<br>These limits shall be based on the potential hazards relevant to the product or processing area.<br>Therefore, acceptable levels of cleaning may be defined by visual appearance, ATP bioluminescence<br>techniques (see glossary), microbiological testing, allergen testing or chemical testing as appropriate.<br>The site shall define the corrective action to be taken when monitored results are outside of the<br>acceptable limits.<br>Where cleaning procedures are part of a defined prerequisite plan to control the risk of a specific hazard,<br>the cleaning and disinfection procedures and frequencies shall be validated and records maintained.<br>This shall include the risk from cleaning chemical residues on food contact surfaces.

  • 8.5.3 Equipment used for cleaning in high-care and high-risk areas shall be visually distinctive and dedicated<br>for use in that area.

8.6 WASTE/WASTE DISPOSAL IN HIGH-RISK, HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • 8.6.1 Waste disposal systems shall ensure that the risk of contamination of products is minimised through the<br>control of potential cross-contamination.<br>Risk assessment shall consider the movement and flow of waste and waste containers. For example,<br>waste bins should be dedicated to either high-risk or high-care areas and not be moved between<br>different production risk zones.

8.7 PROTECTIVE CLOTHING IN HIGH-RISK AND HIGH-CARE ZONES

  • 8.7.1 Laundering of protective clothing for high-risk and high-care areas shall be by an approved contracted<br>or in-house laundry using defined criteria to validate the effectiveness of the laundering process. The<br>laundry must operate procedures which ensure:<br>• adequate segregation between dirty and cleaned clothes<br>• adequate segregation between clothes for high-risk, high-care and low-risk areas etc.<br>• effective cleaning of the protective clothing<br>• commercial sterilisation of the protective clothing following the washing and drying process<br>• protection of the cleaned clothes from contamination until use (e.g. by the use of covers or bags).

  • 8.7.2 Where protective clothing for high-care or high-risk areas is cleaned by a contracted or in-house<br>laundry, the laundry shall be audited either directly or by a third party. The frequency of these audits shall<br>be based on risk.

  • 8.7.3 Protective clothing for use in high-risk and high-care areas shall be changed at an appropriate frequency<br>based on risk, and at a minimum daily.

9 REQUIREMENTS FOR TRADED PRODUCTS

  • Where a site purchases and sells food products that would normally fall within the scope of the Standard and are stored at the
    site’s facilities, but which are not manufactured, further processed or packed at the site being audited, the site’s management of
    these products is covered by the requirements in this section.
    All the relevant requirements from sections 1 to 8 must also be fulfilled in addition to the requirements outlined in this section.

9.1 APPROVAL AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING OF MANUFACTURERS/ PACKERS OF TRADED FOOD PRODUCTS

  • The company shall operate procedures for approval of the last manufacturer or packer of food products which are traded to
    ensure that traded food products are safe, legal and manufactured in accordance with any defined product specifications.

  • 9.1.1 The company shall have a documented supplier approval procedure which identifies the process for<br>initial and ongoing approval of suppliers and the manufacturer/processor of each product traded. The<br>requirements shall be based on the results of a risk assessment which shall include consideration of:<br>• the nature of the product and associated risks<br>• customer-specific requirements<br>• legislative requirements in the country of sale or importation of the product<br>• source or country of origin<br>• potential for adulteration or fraud<br>• potential risks in the supply chain to the point of receipt of the goods by the company<br>• the brand identity of products (i.e. customer own brand or branded product).

  • 9.1.2 The company shall have a procedure for the initial and ongoing approval of manufacturers of products.<br>This approval procedure shall be based on risk and include either one or a combination of:<br>• a valid certification to the applicable BRC Global Standard or GFSI-benchmarked standard. The<br>scope of the certification shall include the products purchased<br>• supplier audits, with a scope to include product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good<br>manufacturing practices, undertaken by an experienced and demonstrably competent product<br>safety auditor. Where this supplier audit is completed by a second or third party, the company shall be<br>able to:<br>• demonstrate the competency of the auditor<br>• confirm that the scope of the audit includes product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good<br>manufacturing practices<br>• obtain and review a copy of the full audit report<br>or<br>• where a valid risk-based justification is provided and the supplier is assessed as low risk only, a<br>completed supplier questionnaire may be used for initial approval. The questionnaire shall have a<br>scope that includes product safety, traceability, HACCP review and good manufacturing practices,<br>and it shall have been reviewed and verified by a demonstrably competent person.

  • 9.1.3 Records shall be maintained of the manufacturer’s/packer’s approval process, including audit reports or<br>verified certificates confirming the product safety status of the manufacturing/packing sites supplying<br>the products traded. There shall be a process of review and records of follow-up of any issues identified<br>at the manufacturing/packing sites with the potential to affect food products traded by the company.

  • 9.1.4 There shall be a process for the ongoing review of manufacturers/packers, based on risk and using<br>defined performance criteria, which may include complaints, results of any product tests, regulatory<br>warnings/alerts, customer rejections or feedback. The process shall be fully implemented.<br>Where approval is based on questionnaires, these shall be reissued at least every 3 years and suppliers<br>shall be required to notify the site of any significant changes in the interim, including any change in<br>certification status.<br>Records of the review shall be kept.

9.2 SPECIFICATIONS

  • Specifications or information to meet legal requirements and assist customers in the safe usage of the product shall be
    maintained and available to customers.

  • 9.2.1 Specifications shall be available for all products. These shall either be in the agreed format as supplied<br>by the customer or, where this is not specified, include key data to meet legal requirements and assist<br>the customer in the safe usage of the product.<br>Specifications may be in the form of a printed or electronic document, or part of an online specification<br>system.

  • 9.2.2 The company shall seek formal agreement of the specifications with relevant parties. Where<br>specifications are not formally agreed, the company shall be able to demonstrate that it has taken steps<br>to ensure formal agreement is in place.

  • 9.2.3 Companies shall operate demonstrable processes to ensure that any customer-specified requirements<br>are met. This may be by inclusion of customer requirements within buying specifications or by<br>undertaking further work on the purchased product to meet the customer’s specification (e.g. sorting or<br>grading of product).

  • 9.2.4 Specification review shall be sufficiently frequent to ensure that data is current or at a minimum every 3<br>years, taking into account product changes, suppliers, regulations and other risks.<br>Reviews and changes shall be documented.

9.3 PRODUCT INSPECTION AND LABORATORY TESTING

  • The site shall operate processes to ensure that the products received comply with buying specifications and that the
    supplied product is in accordance with any customer specification.

  • 9.3.1 The site shall have a product sampling or assurance programme to verify that the products are in<br>accordance with buying specifications and meet legal and safety requirements.<br>Where verification is based on sampling, the sample rate and assessment process shall be risk-based.<br>Records of the results of assessments or analysis shall be maintained.

  • 9.3.2 Where verification of conformity is provided by the supplier (e.g. certificates of conformity or analysis),<br>the level of confidence in the inform

  • 9.3.3 Where claims are made about the products being handled, including the provenance, chain of custody<br>and assured or ‘identity preserved’ status of a product or raw materials used, supporting information<br>shall be available from the supplier or independently to verify the claim

  • 9.3.4 Where the company undertakes or subcontracts analyses which are critical to product safety or legality,<br>the laboratory or subcontractors shall have gained recognised laboratory accreditation or operate in<br>accordance with the requirements and principles of ISO 17025. Documented justification shall be<br>available where non-accredited test methods are used.

  • 9.3.5 Test and inspection results shall be retained and reviewed to identify trends. Appropriate actions shall be<br>implemented promptly to address any unsatisfactory results or trends.

9.4 PRODUCT LEGALITY

  • The company shall have processes in place to ensure that the food products traded comply with the legal requirements in the
    country of sale where known.

  • 9.4.1 The company shall have documented processes to verify the legality of products which are traded.<br>These processes shall include as appropriate:<br>• labelling information<br>• compliance with relevant legal compositional requirements<br>• compliance with quantity or volume requirements.<br>Where such responsibilities are undertaken by the customer, this shall be clearly stated in contracts.

9.5 TRACEABILITY

  • The company shall be able to trace all product lots back to the last manufacturer and forward to the customer of the company

  • 9.5.1 The site shall maintain a traceability system for all batches of product which identify the last manufacturer<br>or, in the case of primary agricultural products, the packer or place of last significant change to the<br>product. Records shall also be maintained to identify the recipient of each batch of product from the<br>company.

  • 9.5.2 The company shall test the traceability system at least annually to ensure that traceability can be<br>determined back to the last manufacturer and forward to the recipient of the product from the company.<br>This shall include identification of the movement of the product through the chain from the manufacturer<br>to receipt by the company (e.g. each movement and intermediate place of storage).

  • 9.5.3 The traceability test shall include the reconciliation of quantities of product received by the company for<br>the chosen batch or product lot. Traceability should be achievable within 4 hours (1 day when<br>information is required from external parties).

SIGN OFF

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