Fosters Bakery are Awarded Grade AA by BRC Global Standards for Food Safety

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BRC Global Standards for Food Safety is developed by a range of people within the food industry; experts within foodservice, retail and manufacture. These standards provide a framework in which companies can be assessed against this criterion and help to manage their product safety, legality and quality. We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded Grade AA (Issue 8).

Our Managing Director, John Foster MBE comments “For us, the BRC standard is not a food safety inspection, it’s a way of life.  Our business founder, Emily Foster, had the vision to make the best baked goods she could and serve customers with as much genuine concern as possible. BRC is a modern way of helping us continue that ethos.  

It lifts our spirits that consumers enjoy our products and that we contribute to the business success of our customers; everyone likes to do a good job. Grade AA BRC is more than a wish, it’s about attention to detail in all food safety areas of our operation – the AA says, “well done, keep it up!”

Passing with AA you’d expect the team here to be jumping for joy.  Alas, no!  They kick themselves about the few minor “non-conformances” found in the two-day exhausting inspection. My team are like the biblical GOOD shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine safe sheep in the pen to go and find the one lost one and won’t rest till everything is safe – in our case, food safe!”

At Fosters Bakery, our customers are at the heart of our business and delivering safe products to them is of the utmost importance. So we are very pleased that our BRC Grade reflects how important the correct processes and procedures are to us.

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So, what’s included in the audit?

The standard focuses on:

  • Encouraging a culture of product safety.

  • Expanding the requirements for environmental testing.

  • Encouraging the development of systems for security and food defence.

  • Adding clarity to the requirement for high-risk and high-care production zones.

  • Providing clarity for sites manufacturing pet food.

  • Ensuring global applicability and bench-marking to the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Issue 8 has just been released and is the most up to date version of the BRC Global Standards. This is divided into 8 sections.

1.    Senior Management Commitment

  • Commitment from a senior level helps to ensure that any development in these areas will continue to progress and they will help to ensure that the development is following the right path.

2.    The Food Safety Plan – HACCP

  • HACCP, otherwise known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point helps to identify hazards and risks which may pose a threat, and this will help to reduce those risks.

3.    Food Safety and Quality Management System

  • This regards a good, systematic management system which the staff know how to use, helping to increase trace-ability and the ability to produce safe products.

4.    Site Standards

  • This covers the level of cleanliness and control on the site, including in the factory, the equipment, foreign body control and pest control.

5.    Product Control

  • This covers controls such as allergen management and regularly undertaking tests to make sure we are delivering safe products and that there is no cross-contamination.

6.    Process Control

  • This stage reflects on the HACCP and making sure that the plan is put into action and delivered effectively and consistently.

7.    Personnel

  • Making sure that training, protective clothing and hygiene practices are up to the correct standard.

8.    High-Risk, High-Care and Ambient High-Care Production Risk Zones

  • This section refers to products which are susceptible to potential pathogen contamination and therefore need additional controls to ensure the product is safe.

9.    Requirements for Traded Products

  • This is a voluntary section of Issue 8 that purchase and sell food products that would normally fall within the scope of the Standard and are stored at the site but are not manufactured, processed or packed at the site.

Receiving a Grade AA shows that we are complying with the highest level of Food Safety Standards and we maintain excellent procedures and structures within our bakery.