Food Safety

Recent changes – applicable to physical audits

Where physical audits are still completed, certification bodies are reminded of the recent changes (these do not apply to the risk assessments and extensions to certificates applicable during the Covid-19 restrictions):

Audit Duration Calculator F806– reminder that the new calculator came into effect for all physical audits commencing 1 April 2020 onwards. This is available on MyBRCGS, BRCGS Participate and main website.

Food audit report F834 - was updated with effect from 1 March 2020 – all Food Standard audits must now be using the new template. This is available on the BRCGS Directory on the template tab.

There are 2 important features of the new report:

  • improved capture of summaries of root cause analysis and preventive action. Root cause analysis remains a vital tool for sites to address non-conformities and introduce effective actions that prevent re-occurrence. It is therefore a key part of the sites continuing improvement.
  • capture of GFSI audit history on the audit report. This will help facilitate the introduction of the GFSI benchmark requirement for a minimum of 1 audit every 3 years to be unannounced at sites who opt for the announced audit programme.


Food Safety Position Statement F837 - as discussed in the last issue of the Bulletin, we have now published an update of our Position Statement for the Food Standard. This document now includes an explanation of the Standard’s expectations on Environmental Monitoring. This is available on our main website, MyBRCGS, BRCGS Participate and BRCGS Educate.

Auditor profiles webinar & BRC010 update

It is very important that auditor profiles are completed correctly, not only for accreditation and GFSI benchmarking capabilities. Completing these correctly also helps BRCGS to validate the profile in a timely and consistent manner.

It is often necessary for BRCGS scheme managers to request modifications to profiles, simply because it is not clear how an auditor meets one of the specific requirements, this is especially common for category competence requirements.

To help CBs a webinar has been recorded and is available on MyBRCGS. This is supported by an update to BRC010 Completing an Auditor Profile which is also available on MyBRCGS.

Please note that going forward we expect that where a CB adds a new auditor or a new category to an auditor profile these new additions meet the level of information and format indicated in these resources. It may be necessary to ask certification bodies to amend new data so that it corresponds with the updated format requirements. Also please note there is no requirement to update historic information.

Use of wood within food production areas

We have received a number of enquiries from sites and CBs regarding the “essential” use of wood within food production areas. To ensure that we have a consistent approach to this topic please note:

  • The principle set by the Standard remains the same - no wooden pallets in open product areas. This avoids the potential hazards of wooden splinter contamination and the introduction of potential microbial contamination into a production area.
  • The use of wood is not permitted in open product areas except where it is an essential requirement of the process (e.g. wooden casks for some alcoholic beverages or wooden crates used for incoming raw materials in fresh produce packhouses where product contamination has been shown to be greater with plastic than with wood). Therefore, items such as wooden pallets will not be present in open product areas unless there is an essential and justifiable need.
  • “Combo’s” or plastic lined cardboard boxes on pallets (typically a single box on a pallet of about 3ft x 3 ft x 3 ft). Are permitted where the pallets are single use wood, and only located in a specific, designated, location at the end of a packing line. Other uses, such as storage of open products or work in progress is not acceptable.
  • Where wood cannot be avoided, the condition of the wood shall be continuously monitored to ensure it is in good condition and free from damage or splinters.