One of the many lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is that hygiene has risen to the top of everyone’s agenda and it has become a key criteria for packaging buyers across a wider range of industry sectors.
Whereas perhaps possession of an accredited hygiene certificate would normally have been a requirement for packaging used for food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, we are finding that more and more buyers are asking for evidence that our production facilities meet the highest standards of hygiene production.
By achieving the BRC/IOP High Hygiene Grade AA accreditation for the third consecutive year, we are able to fully guarantee the safety of our self adhesive labels and prove that Croft Printing has fulfilled all of the legal and hygienic requirements required by the standard.
Whilst we ensure our production facility and processes are reviewed continually, we are also assessed annually during an inspection by BRC auditors. Thanks to a fantastic team effort, we are delighted that we recently retained the AA grade, which is the highest grade a company can achieve without unannounced audits.
Commenting on the latest assessment, Croft Printing Director, Marilyn Briggs said, “I think it’s important to emphasise that whilst BRC accreditation is mainly required because we supply labels for food packaging, it also offers assurance to product manufacturers as it also demonstrates that everyone within our company is focused on hygiene, health and quality. Factors which are becoming much more important to most buyers during the current situation.”
The BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging is designed to assist packaging manufacturers and suppliers like Croft Printing to adopt manufacturing best practices and support this with the availability of quality management systems and information that demonstrate high levels of hygiene and cleanliness.
A BRC Audit, or BRC Food Safety Audit, is the British Retail Consortium’s official assessment of a food manufacturer’s adherence to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.
What does BRC focus on?
The latest food safety version of BRC, issue 8, highlights the following requirements:
- Senior management commitment – leaders of companies should help ensure the implementation and continuous improvement of food safety processes
- Food safety and quality management system – proper documentation of processes in place help manage the safety of food production and keep staff properly informed
- Site standards – setting and maintaining the ideal site for food production
- Product control – setting controls in place such as allergen management and product testing
- Process control – this is ensuring that the documented HACCP plan is consistently followed to maintain product quality
- Personnel – ensure that employees are trained, wearing PPE, and follow proper hygiene
- High Risk, High Care, and Ambient High Care Production Risk Zones – ensure that products susceptible to pathogen contamination have control measures to improve safety
- Traded Products – ensure sites that purchase and sell food products properly process and pack them to avoid contamination