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Your audit checklist for Issue 8…

So that you can get ready for your issue 8 audit, we’ve created a mega list of the points you need to check. There are two important things to note with this audit checklist:

  • When we say ‘include in your procedure’ or words like this, we don’t just mean that you should just add the text to the procedure, we mean you need to actually do what you have written, plus implement what you’ve included in your procedure.
  • This is a list of the most important things to check.  We can’t include absolutely every possible item of the standard– as that would take forever. But if you check these points in the audit checklist, it should give you a really good chance at passing your audit with flying colours!

So, here we go…

    1. Included food safety and quality culture and whistleblowing in your management commitment procedure.
    2. Got a culture plan.
    3. Got a whistleblowing policy.
    4. Included integrity in your management reviews.
    5. Carried out root cause analysis where management review targets were not met.
    6. Included a statement somewhere that a review will take place, following an incident. audit checklist
    7. Got a food safety team leader who is PCQI trained if you produce product for the USA.
    8. Added to the scope of your food safety plan also that food safety hazards from fraud or malicious contamination are considered in your vulnerability assessment and your threat assessment.
    9. Included in your food safety procedure that external information will be used, and where needed this will prompt a HACCP plan review.
    10. Included that external information sources will drive a review for raw material risk assessment, vulnerability assessment and food defence threat assessment, in the relevant procedures.
    11. Included in your procedure that you will listen to what is happening in the industry and where current issues may have an impact on food safety, you will carry out a review to your HACCP, raw material risk assessment, (vulnerability assessment – you should have this already for issue 7) and threat assessment. food safety plan
    12. Looked at all digital documents, records and data (e.g. equipment settings) to ensure they are secure and that only authorised personnel can access them and amend them.
    13. Checked that any digital records have the same controls in place as hard copies of records, e.g. that they are signed and there is a digital signature, or other form of control (e.g. only an authorised group can edit and sign).
    14. Considered that where you have equipment like metal detectors, x-ray machines, automatic average weight scales, coding machines etc. that these are controlled and the settings cannot be amended by unauthorised personnel.
    15. You’ve scheduled your internal audits over at least four days a year and that they are evenly spread out throughout the year.
    16. Covered all elements of the BRC standard in your internal audits.
    17. Ensured that your internal auditors are recording evidence of their audits, such as procedure or record dates, references, versions, who they’ve audited etc.
    18. Ensured that your internal audits cover both systems audits and also GMP audits (separately). BRC Internal Audit Issue 8
    19. Included legislative requirements in your raw material risk assessment.
    20. Included and considered the risks around cross contamination of species or variety in your raw material risk assessment.
    21. Updated your raw material risk assessment procedure to state that a yearly review will now be replaced with a review which is driven by change, so that it’s always up to date.
    22. Updated your specifications procedure to also state that they will be updated when something changes, rather than once every 3 years.
    23. Updated your supplier approval procedure to state that SAQ’s will be updated by your suppliers when something changes, rather than waiting for the set timescale.
    24. Ensured that all your suppliers for both raw materials and traded products have been approved in line with the three methods (SAQ for low only, GFSI or audit for not low risk).
    25. Robustly justified (through risk assessment) that your low risk suppliers really are low.
    26. Carried out a trace test on all suppliers who you’ve approved using an SAQ.
    27. Verified any GFSI certificates to prove that they are valid (not fake) through the relevant accreditation directly.
    28. Reviewed any non-GFSI audit reports (where you’ve used them as an audit) to make sure that they cover food safety, GMP, traceability and HACCP review.
    29. Got a process of monitoring your suppliers and that the results of this is fed back into your supplier risk assessment.
    30. Got an approved suppliers list and this must be available to those that need to use it.
    31. Approved any wholesalers as you would do agents and brokers.
    32. Covers all of the points above (23-31) in your supplier approval and monitoring procedure.
    33. Updated your procedures so that goods receipt personnel are made aware of changes to raw materials so they can check only the correct version is accepted.
    34. Got procedures in place for the lairage of live animals, where they’re not governed by the local authority.
    35. Approved outsourced contractors in line with the new requirements detailed in point 24. audit checklist
    36. Got a detailed procedure of how you are going to handle root cause analysis.
    37. Got a detailed procedure of how the traceability process works and this clearly shows the links in the batch codes.
    38. Summarised trace tests.
    39. Added cyber crime as an incident under your incident management procedure.
    40. Included that timings of key activities have to be recorded during a recall. audit checklist
    41. Walked the perimeter of the building to make sure that vegetation must be at least 50cm away.
    42. Got a threat assessment for food defence.
    43. Documented and implemented protection measures where significant threats are highlighted. audit checklist
    44. Trained all on-site personnel on site security procedures and an awareness of food defence. audit checklist
    45. Drawn access points for work in progress materials and open finished product, and the movement of packaging on your site plans.
    46. Considered where you have walkways to make sure they are not a source of potential contamination from personnel.
    47. Looked at all internal doors to make sure they are in good condition.
    48. Got a hand back procedure following maintenance work.
    49. Considered all food contact materials, not just lubricants to make they are suitable for use with food.
    50. Trained the glass and brittle materials breakage procedure to those who will need to use it.
    51. Procedure includes instructions on how to dispose of broken materials so it doesn’t put product at risk.
    52. Got a debagging and deboxing procedure.
    53. Make sure that all your pens must be one piece and metal detectable where detectors are in place.
    54. Got corrective action procedures for all foreign body detection systems.
    55. Specified limits for cleaning, including allergens, and documented corrective action procedures.
    56. Got a validation for your CIP.
    57. Verifying the effectiveness of your CIP.
    58. Put an environmental monitoring system in place. lab results
    59. Looked at all of your internal bins to make sure they’re in good condition and clean (and that you’ve got a system for keeping them clean).
    60. Included in your pest control folder, that where there is an infestation, records of the treatment of the infestation will be recorded.
    61. Complying with local legislation for pest management.
    62. Walked the site to check that all pest management devices and their locations are labelled.
    63. Looked at where your EFK’s are located, to make sure bits of flies don’t fly out and contaminate product!
    64. Got bird proofing in place.
    65. Looked into how your temperature controlled vehicles are controlled and monitored.
    66. Considered typical product conditions when you’re validating and verifying your shelf life.
    67. Recorded validation of cooking instructions.
    68. Included 66 and 67 in your NPD procedure.
    69. Got sufficient documented justification for putting allergen warnings on pack (may contains).
    70. Put proactive protection measures in place where there are significant threats in your vulnerability assessment.
    71. Got a system for verifying each batch of material at intake (or before use) which has a claim.
    72. Assessed packaging for suitability, including secondary and tertiary packaging.
    73. Sufficient knowledge to understand lab results in order to be able to apply the right corrective and preventive action.
    74. Got limits for lab results which meet any legal requirements.
    75. Documented procedures for verification of bar code scanners and online check weighers. audit checklist
    76. Trained those that work in the packing and labelling areas to understand the labelling procedures and also the implications of getting it wrong.
    77. Included in your training procedure that all training must be traceable back to the procedure where the information was taken from.
    78. Included medical jewellery as a permitted item in areas where it will not pose a risk to open product.
    79. Looked at your PPE procedure to make sure that it’s really clear that that PPE must be worn in areas where there’s open product.
    80. For high risk – you’ve included in your procedure how to handle movement of equipment to ensure that it is decontaminated before it goes into the area.
    81. For high risk – included cleaning limits for environmental cleaning and documented corrective action procedures.
    82. For high risk/care – ensured that bins from high risk or high care areas do not leave the area.
    83. For high risk/care – got controls in place to make sure that PPE must be segregated and commercially sterilised.
    84. Got procedures which handle traded products as you would raw materials, with regard to approval, monitoring and specifications.

If you’d like to download a copy of our checklist in PDF format so you can work through it and tick them off, you can do this, just sign up to Techni-K Smart Knowledge to access our downloads page.  After joining you will receive our welcome email and the link to our downloads page.  If you’re already subscribed, click the link provided in this issue of your newsletter that we sent to your inbox.

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I really hope that helps you – I know our audit checklist is a long, but it’s really worth taking the time to work through it. If you have any questions or if you can share some tips on things to do in preparation for your audit, please share them with us all, by adding them to the reply box below!

16 Comments

  • Ram Singh says:

    Kassy, Very useful checklist as always , keep the good work going, my team is using your guide and the feed back is that, it is very concise and covers everything. Ram

  • Martin Booth says:

    Kassy – as always clear and concise documents, easy to follow and makes the whole BRC implementation process alot easier. Always my first port of call for any docuemented assistance in technical and qualtiy matters. Always very helpful

  • David says:

    Thanks Kassy, this will come in useful over the next few months (I’ve not even had chance to look BRC V8 yet). Keep up with the great work you do. Always find the articles you publish helpful.

  • Dilip Kumar Chowdhury says:

    Pls.give me a check list in pdf format

    Thanks

    Dilip[

    • Kassy Marsh says:

      Hi Dilip,
      You can download it from this page, just press the sign up button above and you’ll be directed to a page, put your email address in – if you’re already subscribed you’ll get a message with a link to our downloads page.
      Thanks
      Kassy

  • Hien says:

    Thank you so much, Kassy. This is what we’ve been waiting for.
    Lifesaver 🙂

    HT

  • Cate says:

    We were reading through this list when our unannounced auditor arrived!

    I’d recommend that if you don’t already have a whistleblowing policy/ procedure in place that you do so as soon as possible and trial your policy to allow to you to demonstrate the different parts of your system.

    • Kassy Marsh says:

      I hope the audit went/is going ok!

      Thanks for the top tip, it will be really helpful I’m sure to everyone who reads it.

      Are there any learnings you can share with everyone from your audit?

      • Cate says:

        1 important point that we were almost caught out on is that you must remember that the retail pack your consumer takes home is now treated as food contact. We had not considered the ink used for date coding and this was requested during our trace.

  • Cate says:

    Audit was good thanks, we maintained our A+ grade. We are still working our way through our notes. There may well be a few hidden gems in amongst them, I will share anything that may be worthwhile.

  • maria says:

    Congratulations !!! and thank you for sharing

  • Dawn Taffinder says:

    Hi Kassy

    We purchased your senior management pack to help with the Quality Culture Plan. Spot on, thanks for the assist and the checklist.
    AA+ both sites

    • Kassy Marsh says:

      That’s such amazing news – thank you so much for letting us know! And well done you, and the team at both sites!

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