The BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Food Safety Standard has been the benchmark for many food manufacturing companies over the past ten years. This standard, though difficult to achieve, was a blessing in disguise for food business operators (FBO). For the first time UK retailers, who are fiercely competitive on many issues such as price, product availability, choice, customer service, etc, had pooled their technical resources to develop an International Food Safety Standard which was well written, user friendly and prescriptive. It allowed FBOs to understand the retailer mindset and to prepare for third party audits.
However it now appears that Tesco are going it alone with the Tesco Food Manufacturing Standard (TFMS).
58 references to Risk Assessment is extremely demanding and food safety professionals need to be comfortable when carrying them out. These are the challenging questions being posed by third party auditors:
1) How do you, (the FBO) risk assess your pre-requisite programme?
2) How do you determine your Internal Audit frequencies based on risk?
3) Do you risk assess based on your controls working or your controls failing?
4) How do you risk assess the various allergens you may have on site?
The demands that the TFMS is placing on FBOs are significant and technical departments need to be competent and confident that all necessary control measures are in place.