"Quality and food safety is the primary consideration and
expectation of all products manufactured by Vita-Pakt.
We maintain an environment which supports a consistent focus for improvement on an ongoing basis.
This is our commitment to the food industry."
James R. Boyles, Chairman & CEO
British Retail Consortium (BRC)
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) first introduced its Global Standard for Food Safety, a GFSI benchmarked standard, in 1998. The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety has over 25,000 certified sites in over 136 countries world-wide. Vita-Pakt has been certified since 2012. The BRC food safety standard is designed to provide the basis for certification for food manufacturers who implement good manufacturing practices and have a supporting quality management systems. The Standards not only are applied to our food processing and food packaging operations but sets the standards specific to packaging (BRC IOP) and storage/logistics (BRC Storage and Distribution). The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 was published in January 2015 and implementation commenced on July 1, 2015. BRC Issue 7, is based on a foundation of a fully implemented HACCP principle based programs along with documented food safety and quality management system such as ours. The new version 7 issue places increased emphasis on Supply chain and Supplier assurance and food fraud and adulteration concerns. The key changes to BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 are noted below:
• Consistency in the auditor and audit processes
• Added and increased flexibility through the addition of voluntary modules that reduce audit burden, including elements of chain of custody, traded goods, food defense and food for charities
• Reducing risks associated to the exposure to either food fraud/adulteration or security
• Enhancing sustainability elements such as transparency and traceability in the supply chain
• Applicability to small as well as large sites where Global Markets Program processes are still under development
Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
Being certified under BRC we fall under the auspices of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) which is an international program that began through the collaboration of leading manufacturers, retailers and food service organizations to drive safety throughout the food supply chain. Certain food safety standards are referred to as GFSI Benchmarked, which means that the standards meet the global requirements to cover all aspects of the food supply chain from farm to fork.
Adherence to industry-recognized safety and quality standards has become a deciding factor in doing business in today's global marketplace. Each GFSI benchmarked scheme is aligned to the common criteria defined by food safety experts from the food business, with the objective of making food manufacture as safe as possible.
Mandatory Under Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
HACCP and HARPC In 1989, the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), published the first official HACCP document, standardizing the practice and presenting the seven principles of HACCP: (1) Hazard Analysis, (2) Critical Control Point Identification, (3) Establishment of Critical Limits, (4) Processes for Monitoring, (5) Corrective Actions (6) Record Keeping, and (7) Establishment of Verification Procedures . Vita-Pakt instituted our HACCP Program in 1998.
Moving forward to HARCP which is not a global standard however it is a mandated and updated U.S. standard incorporated into the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on July 4, 2012. Whereas HACCP generally applies to low-acid, canned food, juice (as some of Vita-Pakt products are), and seafood processors, HARPC applies to almost all the remaining food-processing operations and/or facilities. The only facilities or processes not required to comply with HARPC are those subject to the Standards of Produce Safety, those already governed by HACCP, and those facilities regulated by Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for Dietary Supplements.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a risk management system that identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards related to food safety throughout the food supply chain.
Our HACCP program is implemented for the control of physical, biological, and chemical (including Allergen) risks throughout our operations. The plan helps us assure compliance with regulating authorities as well as our customers that we are taking every reasonable precaution to assure food safety. It also helps us reduce waste and risk of contamination-related food losses as well as improve the design of new food products.
HACCP plan principles:
• Identification of food hazards and the necessary risk control measures
• Identification of the food safety Critical Control Points (CCPs)
• Determination of the critical limits for each CCP Establish monitoring procedures for CCPs
• Plan and take corrective action when critical limits are exceeded
• Establish verification procedures for the HACCP FSMS system
• Establish documentation and record keeping for the HACCP FSMS (Food Safety Management System)
FSMA requirements for HARPC program mandates that facilities:
• Conduct a thorough risk/hazard analysis for all food-processing procedures
• Develop and implement preventive controls, and then monitor the controls’ effectiveness
• Provide a detailed plan in writing, describing how the hazards will be controlled, the preventive controls put in place, and a schedule and methodology for monitoring the efficiency of the controls
• Verify the effectiveness of the controls, also maintaining written records of the verification processes
• Reanalyze the HARPC plan at least every three years (we do ours annually); more often as new product lines are added, equipment is changed or upgraded, and/or when other changes require a new analysis.
Unlike HACCP, HARPC also includes food security elements such as planning for potential terrorist acts and/or intentional adulteration and food fraud. As food-defense plan under HARPC it includes elements of additional security compliance, such as visitor/contractor access and control.