BRCGS Global Standards: 5.4 Authenticity, Claims & Chain of Custody Explained

BRCGS Global Standards: 5.4 Authenticity, Claims & Chain of Custody Explained

This video delves into BRCGS food safety standards, focusing specifically on Clause 5.4: Authenticity, Claims & Chain of Custody. This clause plays a crucial role in guaranteeing the authenticity of the food products we manufacture, ensuring they remain true from farm to fork and reach consumers precisely as advertised.

Maintaining food safety is paramount within the industry, and established guidelines are essential. BRCGS (formerly known as BRC) has emerged as a globally recognized benchmark for best practices in food safety, quality, and responsibility. Initially published in 1998, the BRCGS Global Standards for Food Safety have been adopted by over 22,000 facilities across 130 countries, solidifying their position as a trusted framework for food safety management.

Today, we’ll focus on Clause 5.4, a cornerstone of BRCGS standards. It encompasses food safety, quality, legal compliance, and, most importantly, product authenticity.

▶️ Key points outlined in Clause 5.4 to ensure product authenticity:

• Risk Assessment: BRCGS mandates a risk assessment to identify raw materials vulnerable to adulteration or substitution. While packaging isn’t explicitly included, incorporating it strengthens the assessment’s comprehensiveness.

• Team Competency: A competent team with the necessary knowledge and experience is crucial to mitigate authenticity risks. Training programs and professional development initiatives can help establish this competence.

• Staying Informed: Regularly monitoring resources like the FSA or RACP portal demonstrates a proactive approach to staying updated on potential industry fraud threats.

• Dynamic Risk Assessment: The risk assessment should be a living document, reviewed whenever necessary due to factors like new raw material introductions, supplier changes, industry fraud incidents, or the emergence of new testing methodologies.

• Mitigating Risks: The identified vulnerabilities should be addressed with implemented controls. A combination of controls is generally more effective than relying on a single measure.

• Verification of Claims: Finished products with claims linked to raw materials (e.g., organic, GMO-free) require documented mass balance exercises every six months, except where existing certification schemes have their requirements. This process verifies control over maintaining the claimed status throughout production.

• Certification for Claims: Claims like “organic” necessitate the business to hold the relevant certification.

• Chain of Custody: BRCGS doesn’t require complete supply chain traceability. Typically, demonstrating one step back to your supplier and one step forward to your customer is sufficient. Exceptions exist, such as businesses buying from agents/brokers or those following specific BRCGS add-on modules requiring complete chain visibility.

y understanding and implementing these key points from Clause 5.4, food businesses can ensure the authenticity of their products, uphold consumer trust, and maintain the highest industry standards.

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Monday, 13 May, 2024

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