One of the changes to issue 8 is around packaging and the definition of primary packaging. You probably think you know what primary packaging is and so this won’t concern you – but you’d be wrong.
Forget what you’ve ever thought – because BRC have moved the goal posts…
Typically, primary packaging was the packaging that came into contact with the food or drink – right? Secondary, was the next layer of packaging, such as the label or retail carton for example. The tertiary was generally the palletisation packaging, that type of thing… Not any more.
BRC have provided us with a new definition of primary packaging – as follows…
“The packaging that constitutes the unit of sale to the consumer or customer (e.g. bole, closure and label of a retail pack or a raw material bulk container).”
Reference: BRC Global Standards for Food Safety, Issue8
Ok, so let’s break that down. If you’re producing product that is packed ready for the consumer, i.e. in consumer packaging – now, primary packaging is anything that the consumer receives when they buy the product. We all thought that was called consumer packaging, but apparently not – it’s called primary packaging now.
The more confusing one, is where you’re making a product that is for further processing, i.e. you sell it to a customer – who then does something with it. Now, all the packaging that you send to your customer is primary packaging, including the “raw material bulk container.” So, in theory everything that the customer gets, could include the pallet and the shrink wrap.
We asked on a BRC approved training course, for them to clarify this and we were told that it’s everything except the pallet and shrink wrap.
So, now you know – what you thought was primary, secondary and tertiary packaging was all wrong. Clear? No, me neither!
Add your comments to the reply box, we’d love to know what you think!