New BRC Requirements for Cleaning

Just looking in more detail at the recent changes to the BRC Standard Issue 6 under Section 4.11 – Hygiene and Housekeeping. It appears the standard has essentially been updated to align with the requirements of the Tesco Technical Standard. In general this is something I have noticed with a significant number of the changes to the BRC. There appears to be a strong tendency towards the prescriptive requirements of these technical standards. Not necessary a bad thing in my opinion. As a Quality Manager I always preferred a more prescriptive set of requirements rather than a general one open to interpretation.

There is nothing particularly new in this section except that the requirements for a good cleaning and sanitising program have been spelt out. If I was approaching this I would do the following:

  1. Look at each cleaning procedure in your operation.
  2. Risk assess each procedure (e.g. high, medium and low).
  3. Check that each existing cleaning method / procedure is as per documented in your SOP.
  4. If not, update the written procedure.
  5. Establish performance criteria for the standard of cleaning using one or more of the following:
    1. Visual inspection
    2. Microbiological standards
    3. ATP
    4. Chemical concentration
    5. Residual chemicals
    6. Allergen levels
  6. Validate that the criteria is sufficient to produce safe food.
  7. Conduct the cleaning as per the documented procedure (including line change over procedures) and check that the performance criteria are being met (verification).
  8. If not, change the procedure and repeat the above until the criteria are being met.
  9. Keep records of the above to show your auditor.

So there is quite a bit involved and there are of course the new specific requirements for CIP. We have already completed the product updates to Safefood 360 for the new requirements of the BRC. The following Video will give you a nice overview of how the Cleaning Module in Safefood 360 works.