Do you know if your facility is operating safely and at optimum efficiency? What food safety management standards do you maintain? Are your standards accredited by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)? Using an accredited standard that is widely accepted by customers worldwide can save your company a lot of money and a lot of time.
The GFSI was established in the 1990s with the goal of “Once Certified, Accepted Everywhere.” GFSI-recognized standards are not the only schemes available, but they are widely accepted, which helps customers and suppliers find common ground with food safety requirements.
Both BRC V7 from the British Retail Consortium and FSSC 22000 from the Foundation for Food Safety Certification are manufacturing food safety standards accredited by GFSI. This article explains the difference between the two standards and identifies three questions that will help you decide which one is right for you.
BRC V7 focuses on implementing good manufacturing procedures during production. It is a process certification scheme that “can be used by any food processing operation where open food is handled, processed, or packed.” BRC V7 is easily scalable for facilities of all size, and it’s used by suppliers in over 100 countries.
This standard provides detailed descriptions of process requirements, so management and employees know exactly what’s expected of them in day-to-day situations. These requirements are divided into seven sections:
Audits are performed on-site by BRC-licensed auditors. If your auditor discovers a nonconformance, you will have 28 days to fix the problem and show proof of your corrective actions. Your auditor will re-evaluate your facility and, if everything looks good, you’ll receive your BRC certification.
If your grade is an A or a B, you should get a re-certification audit every 12 months. If you get a C, you’ll need to get re-certified every 6 months.
FSSC 22000 is a management system certification scheme based on ISO 22000, but with some additional requirements. If your facility already uses ISO 22000, it’s relatively easy to get FSSC 22000 certified as well.
FSSC 22000 audits are broken down into two stages:
There’s no hard and fast rule about which standard is right for your facility. Here are three questions to consider when deciding between BRC V7 and FSSC 22000.
Implementing your customers’ preferred standard is one way to assure them that your facility is dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of food safety. Plus, using the same standard that your customers do helps you avoid having to invest more time and money in getting multiple certifications.
Do you follow ISO 22000? Then FSSC 22000 is probably the right standard for you since you’ll only need to add to your current scheme rather than starting from scratch.
Keep in mind the main difference between BRC V7 and FSSC 22000. BRC V7 focuses on implementing good manufacturing procedures, while FSSC 22000 assesses your facility’s documented systems and records.
Regardless of which one you pick, getting certified by a GFSI-recognized standard is a great step toward making your facility safe and efficient. If you’d like to to take another great step toward improving efficiency, click here to learn how to reduce waste in your process.
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