BRC Food Standard
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) have released a new Version 8 of its Global Standard for Food Safety for consultation. The BRC food standard is set to be formally published in July / August 2018 with the first audits being undertaken in February 2019. What does this mean for Pest Control providers in Sussex, Surrey, Kent or the UK, like us, who work with these standards on a daily basis?
Our resident Certified Field Biologist, Paul Westgate, has assessed the standard. Some of the changes that are likely to be introduced due to the new BRC food standard include:
- Throughout the Pest Control section (4.14) which forms the majority of the clauses relevant to Pest Controllers there has been a move from ‘Pest Control’ to ‘Pest Management’ which I think brings into line the increasing movement towards an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach which the public health Pest Control sector has seen over the last few years.
- An important and worthwhile addition to clause 4.14.2 includes the requirement to undertake a risk assessment when changes to the building or process occurs. This is a useful tool and enables Pest Controllers to record changes in risk and provide recommendations to reflect these. We have already implemented this with one of our customers who had extensive building work undertaken which changed the risk of rodent ingress. Through Risk assessment it was agreed that the service frequency and monitoring strategy was increased to match the change in risk. At another facility a new product line was due to be installed which changed the risk of stored product insect activity from low to high. From the onset through risk assessment, we were able to instigate monitoring and ensure effective controls were, and continue to be, in place.
- The removal of the word numbering in clause 4.14.4 should, in my opinion be treated with caution. Numbered monitors help to provide traceability and trending which remain key components of the BRC food standard. At Westgate Pest Control we will continue to number, date and attach to the building fabric all of our monitoring points.
- A new clause, 4.14.7, specifically states that birds should be prevented from entering buildings and accessing areas above loading bays. For a long time this has been an important element to any proactive approach at a food manufacturing facility. Effective proofing of these areas is often a sensible long-term solution to help reduce the risk of bird activity around facilities, although the financial cost must be considered and justified.
Other sections of the BRC food standard reference through to Pest Control including section 4.4 and 4.9 although these do not present any significant amendments which are not already covered in sound proactive Pest Management approach.
In summary Paul concludes only a few minor amendments for pest controllers to consider. For Westgate Pest Control, these already form part of the standards that we provide through our Platinum Pest Control service level. So with this specification change only minor adjustments should be necessary.
If you are interested in having Westgate Pest Control provide professional Pest Control services in line with the latest BRC Food Standards please get in touch. Our professional team are always happy to help out where we can in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and much of the UK.