The Brand Reputation through Compliance Global Standards (BRCGS) Food Safety Issue 9 was released in August 2022, with new requirements that certified manufacturers will be expected to comply with by February 1, 2023. Manufacturers must consider several key differences between BRCGS Food Safety Issues 8 and 9 when transitioning to the new standard.

Issue 9 includes the addition of a third audit option to its protocol—the blended audit. The blended audit is an announced audit that is performed both onsite and remotely. The maximum percentage of the blended audit that may be conducted remotely is 50 percent, and a BRCGS certification body will assess if an operation’s technical capabilities are sufficient to do so. Only registrations, systems, and documentation may be audited remotely.

Food safety culture, as part of the management commitment, is another new inclusion of Issue 9. Food safety culture will focus on senior management and will be audited based on product safety communication, training, employee feedback, behaviors, and performance measurement.

The Hazards Analysis and critical Control Points (HACCP) section of Issue 9 now requires validation prior to implementing a change, including when putting new equipment into service and during product development, as well as validation for control points and critical limits. Verification is also now required at least annually and immediately after changes or incidents, and is applicable to HACCP, lethality process validations, environmental monitoring, and specifications.

Finally, under Issue 9, all staff are now subject to mandatory training before the start of operations, and a record of training needs is required for all employees. Competence will be tested for control measures, including allergen controls and management of critical control points.