BRC Issue 7 Food Safety Audit Data over the past three years

From 2016 to 2018, FSNS C&A auditors conducted over 600 BRC Issue 7 Food Safety site audits, resulting in the identification of over 4800 non-conformities (NC). These data were collected from sites encompassing 39 different production categories or category combinations. Throughout these audits, regardless of production category, there were commonalities in the top requirement categories and clauses written. These findings can be useful to review if your facility is scheduled for an audit, as an awareness of common infractions could allow for pre-emptive corrections and lower the number of NC issued. Two comparisons made using the data including the most common categories infractions occur in and the most common overall clauses cited,

Clauses under which a NC can occur are broken down into seven overarching categories. While the overall site average for number of NC a visit was 7.7, clauses belonging to requirement group 4, “site standards”, make up an average of 4.1 NC a visit. From there, requirement group 3, “food safety and quality management system” was cited an average of 1.5 NC per visit. No other requirement group averaged above 1.0 NC per visit (Figure) The high number of NC a visit attributed to requirement group 4 was consistent across both year and type of production.

Throughout site visits, 239 individual clauses were referenced at least once over the three years audits were conducted. Throughout the years, many clauses were found to occur at a much higher rate than other clauses. In fact, the top 5 clauses made up 15% of all NC written at all sites (see the top five clauses in the table). All of these top clauses dealt with record keeping and cleanliness and belonged to requirement group 3 or 4.

These data provide insight into the most problematic areas of compliance during a BRC Food Safety audit. As a result, additional focus can be placed on site standards and procedures that pertain to commonly cited clauses prior to undergoing a site audit.

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