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Debra Smith
Debra Smith
Global Hygiene Specialist

BRC v8 hygiene requirements and how Vikan can help

In August 2018 the BRC released Issue 8 of their Global Standard for Food Safety. The Standard specifies the food safety, quality and operational criteria required within a food manufacturing organisation to ensure legal compliance and protection of the consumer.

Certification against Issue 8 of the BRC standard will commence from 1st February 2019.

Release of Issue 8 in August 2018 allows for a transition period between publication and full implementation of the revised Standard so that food manufacturers have time to prepare.
During this transition period Vikan are offering support regarding the hygiene related aspects of the standard.

This Blog lists the hygiene requirements within BRC issue 8 and provides information about how Vikan can help with each.

 

 

Requirement 4.11: Housekeeping and Hygiene

This is a *fundamental requirement of the Standard which says,

  • "Housekeeping and cleaning systems shall be in place which ensure appropriate standards of hygiene are maintained at all timed and the risk of product contamination is minimised."

*BRC define a fundamental requirement as something that ‘relates to systems that are crucial to the establishment and operation of an effective food quality and safety operation’.


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls
?

Requirement 4.11 includes,

  • Clause 4.11.1 that states,
    "The premises and equipment shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition."

  • Clause 4.11.2 that states,
    "Documented cleaning procedures shall be in place...... for all equipment."

  • Clause 4.11.5 that states,
    "The cleanliness of the equipment shall be checked……"

  • Clause 4.11.6 that states,
    "Cleaning equipment shall be:
    • Hygienically designed and fit for purpose
    • Suitably identified for intended use (e.g. colour-coded or labelled)
    • Cleaned and stored in a hygienic manner to prevent contamination."

  • Clause 4.11.8 Environmental Monitoring that states,
    "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." and

  • Clause 4.11.8.2 that states,
    "Appropriate control limit shall be defined for the environmental monitoring programme’ and that ‘The company shall document the corrective action to be taken when monitoring results indicate a failure to meet a control limit, or when monitoring results indicate an upward trend of positive results".

Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with these requirements

  • Vikan has experienced Customer Service and Technical Sales Teams, and a dedicated Hygiene Team ready to help you with advice on,
    • the selection, use and maintenance of cleaning equipment;
    • developing, documenting and checking your cleaning procedures.

  • Vikan pioneered the production of hygienically designed cleaning tools and can offer equipment that is fit for purpose dependent on its intended use.

  • Vikan hygiene products are now available in 12 distinctive colours. Additionally, we can provide food contact compliant, durable silicone rubber bands in 12 colours and 2 sizes for secondary colour-coding of equipment, e.g., by line, or of vacuum attachments.
  • To support our customers optimise food safety in relation to cleaning tools Vikan have written a White Paper that provides advice on cleaning tool maintenance. 
  • Vikan can offer a comprehensive range of cleaning tool storage options, including shadow boards; and colour-coded and stainless steel tool racks.
  • Cleaning is both a major control factor and a corrective action in the maintenance of a hygienic environment. Use of the appropriate cleaning equipment and method, at the appropriate frequency, are key to achieving the monitoring result required. The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on,
    • the risk assessment process
    • interpretation of environmental monitoring results
    • the selection, use and maintenance of cleaning equipment to achieve the best result as part of your environmental hygiene maintenance programme.
  • We can also offer advice on the development of your environmental cleaning programme; and support on the selection, use and maintenance of your cleaning tools by way of training presentations, and a useful information booklet.

White Paper on Cleaning Tool Maintenance


Requirement 5.3: Management of Allergens

This is a *fundamental requirement of the Standard that states,

  • "The site shall have a system for the management of allergenic materials which minimises the risk of allergen contamination of products…"


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls?

Requirement 5.3 includes,

  • Clause 5.3.3 that states,
    "A documented risk assessment shall be carried out to identify routes of contamination and establish documented policies and procedures for handling raw materials and intermediate and finished products to ensure cross-contamination (cross-contact) is avoided."
  • Clause 5.3.4 that states,
    "Procedures shall be established to ensure the effective management of allergenic materials to prevent cross-contamination (cross-contact) of products not containing the allergen. These shall include, as appropriate:
    • physical or time segregation while allergen-containing materials are being stored, processed or packed
    • use of identified, dedicated equipment and utensils for processing
    • systems that restrict the movement of airborne dust containing allergenic material
    • waste handling and spillage controls." and
  • Clause 5.3.8 that states,
    "Equipment or area-cleaning procedures shall be designed to remove or reduce to acceptable levels and potential cross-contamination (cross-contact) by allergens. The cleaning methods shall be validated to ensure that they are effective, and the effectiveness of the procedure routinely verified. Cleaning equipment used to clean allergenic materials shall either be identifiable and specific for allergen use, single use, or effectively cleaned after use."


Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with these requirements

  • The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on,
    • the risk assessment process;
    • the selection, use and maintenance of dedicated, identifiable allergen storage, processing and cleaning equipment;
    • cleaning methods that restrict the movement of airborne dust containing allergenic material; and
    • on waste handling and spillage controls.

Vikan Colour Coding Guide

White Paper on Colour Coding 

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Requirement 4.6: Equipment

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


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls?

Requirement 4.6 includes,

  • Clause 4.6.1 that states,
    "All equipment shall be constructed of appropriate materials. The design and placement of equipment shall ensure it can be effectively cleaned and maintained." and

  • Clause 4.6.2 that states,
    "Equipment in direct contact with food shall be suitable for food contact and meet legal requirements where applicable."

Blog post on Vikan DoCs

 

 

Requirement 4.7: Maintenance

  • "An effective programme shall be in operation for plant and equipment to prevent contamination…..."

What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls?

Requirement 4.7 includes,

  • Clause 4.7.2 that states,
    " …..where there is a risk of product contamination by foreign bodies arising from equipment damage, the equipment shall be inspected at pre-determined intervals, the inspection results documented and appropriate action taken."

Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with these requirements

  • The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on,
    • the risk assessment process;
    • the selection, use and maintenance (including regular cleaning and inspection) of cleaning equipment and food contact utensils to minimise food product contamination.
  • Vikan can supply documentation to show that cleaning equipment and food contact utensils are constructed of appropriate materials. These include,
    • Declarations of Compliance (EU food contact compliance)
    • FDA food contact compliance
    • Technical data sheets
  • Vikan are pioneers in the application of hygienic design to cleaning tools and utensils. This means that they are both durable and easy to clean and, consequently, reduce the risk of food product contamination.

  • We can also support on the selection, use and maintenance of your cleaning equipment and utensils, (including aspects of hygienic design, materials of construction, and foreign body control), by way of training presentations, a useful information booklet, and a number of White Papers and articles including;


Requirement 2: The Food Safety Plan

This is a *fundamental requirement of the Standard that states,

  • "The company shall have a fully implemented and effective food safety plan incorporating the Codex Alimentarius **HACCP principles."

**Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point.

The BRC global standard for food safety requires the development of and compliance with a food safety plan incorporating the Codex Alimentarius HACCP Principles.
It also requires the establishment and maintenance of a HACCP Prerequisite programme. This programme must cover the basic environmental and operational conditions in a food business that are necessary to produce safe food.

HACCP in the food industry is a proactive (identifies actions that prevent things happening rather than react to them when they do) approach that identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards that are significant to food safety. It is used widely by the food industry as part of developing a food safety plan (legal requirement) and is widely recognised by auditors.

The development of a good food safety plan relies on the use of professional judgement based on the knowledge and experience of those developing it.


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls
?

Requirement 2 includes,

  • Clause 2.2.1 Prerequisite Programmes that states,
    "The site shall establish and maintain environmental and operational programmes necessary to create an environment suitable to produce safe and legal food products (prerequisites programme)." These may include,
    • Cleaning and sanitising
    • Equipment maintenance
    • Staff training
    • Purchasing
    • Allergen control
    • Processes to prevent cross-contamination

"The control measures and monitoring procedures for the prerequisite programmes must be clearly documented and shall be included within the development and reviews of the HACCP or food safety plan."


Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with this requirement

At Vikan we support our customers by helping them to identify and evaluate their hazards; assess the associated risks: and determine appropriate controls.

The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on, 

  • the risk assessment process;
  • the development of your prerequisite cleaning programme (both operational and environmental) regarding,
    • the selection, use and maintenance of cleaning equipment/methods;
    • hygiene staff training;
    • the purchase of appropriate cleaning tools;
    • allergen control through cleaning;
    • processes to prevent cross-contamination during cleaning, or by cleaning equipment and staff.

We can also offer advice on the development of your prerequisite cleaning programme; and support on the selection, use and maintenance of your cleaning tools by way of training presentations, a useful information booklet, and a White Paper.

White Paper on Cleaning Tool Maintenance

Requirement 8: ***High-risk, ***High-care and ***Ambient High-care production risk zones

***As defined in BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, Issue 8, Appendix 2


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls
?

Clause 8.1 Layout, product flow and segregation in high-risk, high-care and ambient high-care zones that states,

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

Clause 8.1.1 that states 

  • "The map of the site (see 4.3.1) shall include areas (zones) where the product is at different level of risk from contamination. The map shall show:
    • High-risk areas
    • High-care areas
    • Ambient high-care areas
    • Low-risk areas
    • Enclosed product areas
    • Non-product areas
  • This zoning shall be taken into account when determining the pre-requisite programmes for the particular areas of the site."
Colour Coding plan

 

 

 

Requirement 8.5: Housekeeping and Hygiene in ***High-risk and *** High-care zones


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls
?

Clause 8.5.1 that states,

  • "Environmental cleaning procedures in high-care/high-risk areas shall, at a minimum, include
    • Responsibility for cleaning
    • Item/area to be cleaned
    • Frequency of cleaning
    • Method of cleaning, including dismantling equipment for cleaning purposes where required
    • Cleaning chemicals and concentrations
    • Cleaning materials to be used
    • Cleaning records and responsibility for verification
  • The frequency and methods of cleaning shall be based on risk, and the procedures shall be implemented to ensure that appropriate standards of cleaning are achieved."


 
Clause 8.5.3 that states,

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


Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with these requirements

  • The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on,
    • the risk assessment process;
    • the development of your environmental cleaning procedure;
    • the selection, use and maintenance of visually distinctive and dedicated cleaning tools and utensils for use in high-risk and high-care areas.

Vikan Colour Coding Guide

White Paper on Colour Coding

 

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Requirement 1.1: Senior management commitment and continual improvement


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls
?

This is a *fundamental requirement of the Standard that states,

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

 

 


Requirement 7.1: Personnel training


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls
?

This is also a *fundamental requirement, that states,

  • "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."


Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with these requirements

Food industry cleaning tools and utensils have long been identified as a major source and vector of cross-contamination. In 1998, UK Government funded study data, used to establish food industry guidance on microbiological sampling showed that: 47% of cleaning tools tested were positive for Listeria monocytogenes. In 2017, Schäfer et al., determined that 67% of equipment and utensils used in a poultry processing plant were contaminated with L. mono, even after cleaning.

Despite this, cleaning tools and utensils are rarely considered in relation to food safety, and the critical role hygiene staff play in maintaining food safety and quality standards is often overlooked and undervalued.

As part of a good food safety culture the appropriate selection, use and maintenance of cleaning tools and utensils, together with training of hygiene staff and acknowledgement of the key role they play, must be undertaken.

Vikan has experienced Customer Service and Technical Sales Teams, and a dedicated Hygiene Team ready to help advise, support and educate Senior Managers; Purchasers; Engineers; Technical, Quality and Hygiene personnel, regarding hygiene related issues. Our free of charge support services include,

  • Advice by phone or email
  • Site visits
  • Informal bespoke training and presentation
  • White Papers and information sheets

Make your Hygiene Team Hygiene HEROS!

Requirement 4.9: Chemical and physical product contamination control

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


What do I need to be aware of with regard to hygiene controls?

Requirement 4.9 includes,

  • Clause 4.9.4.2 that states,
    • "systems shall be in place to manage container breakages between the container cleaning/inspection point and container closure. This shall include…"
    • The use of dedicated, clearly identifiable cleaning equipment (e.g. colour-coded) for removal of container breakages; such equipment to be stored separately from other cleaning equipment.’
    • The use of dedicated, accessible, lidded waste containers for the collection of damaged containers and fragments."

Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with this requirement

  • The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on,
    • the risk assessment process
    • the selection, use, maintenance and storage of dedicated, identifiable, colour-coded cleaning equipment for container breakages
    • the selection of dedicated, accessible, closable/lidded, colour-coded waste containers for the collection of container breakages

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Requirement 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 product." 


What do I need to do with regard to hygiene controls
?

Requirement 4.16 includes,

  • Clause 4.16.2 that states,
    • "All vehicles or containers used for the transport of raw materials and the dispatch of products shall be fit for purpose. This shall ensure that they are:
      • In a clean condition." and

  •  Clause 4.16.4 that states,
    • "Maintenance systems and documented cleaning procedures shall be available for all vehicles and equipment used for loading/unloading."


Resources available from Vikan to aid compliance with these requirements

Cleaning is both a major control factor and a corrective action in the maintenance of a hygienic environment. Use of the appropriate cleaning equipment and method, at the appropriate frequency, are key to achieving the transport hygiene level required. 

  • The Vikan team are ready to help you with advice on,
    • the risk assessment process
    • the selection, use and maintenance of cleaning equipment to achieve the best result as part of your transport hygiene maintenance programme. 
  • We can also offer advice on the development of your transport cleaning programme; and support on the selection, use and maintenance of your cleaning tools by way of training presentations, a useful information booklet, and a White Paper.

White Paper on Cleaning Tool Maintenance

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