Working with leading air filtration expert Camfil, BRC Global Standards has launched important new air quality guidance for food manufacturers at the organisation’s Food Safety Europe Conference in London on February 12.
BRC Global Standard for Food Safety F813: Understanding Air Quality Requirements and Air Filter Specification in Food Production will assist managers during an air quality and filter specification risk assessment process.
James Draycott, UK segment manager food & beverage at Camfil, explained: “Until now there has been no real guidance to food production facilities about the levels of air quality required to ensure that food is safe or that the quality is up to standard.
“Camfil approached BRC Global Standards – a company that audits food companies around the world. There is now a new version of the BRC audit – Version 8. All food factories are audited to this standard which gives a company recognition that they are manufacturing food safely.”
However, Camfil was concerned that air quality guidance in the BRC audit procedure was unclear. Mr Draycott again: “The standard to which the auditors were auditing included words like ‘sufficient’ and ‘adequate’. They left the decision of what to do very much in the hands of the food company based on them doing an internal risk assessment.
“Our argument was how can you expect a food company to do a risk assessment on a subject they know nothing about and still come up with a safe solution?”
Camfil and BRC Global decided the best way to resolve this was to produce a separate, standalone linked document to Version 8 of the standard that would go into the detail of air quality requirements of food factories and recent changes in filtration classification and testing standards.
Mr Draycott said: “Essentially, we give guidance to the food companies on air filtration and air quality so they can carry out a risk assessment with the appropriate knowledge. The guidance also explains what efficiencies filters needed to be for certain food environments.”
Understanding Air Quality Requirements and Air Filter Specification in Food Production includes sections on ISO16890, the standard for testing and classifying air filtration and EN16798 – 3: 2017: Energy performance of buildings. Ventilation for buildings; specifying filters; air filtration energy efficiency; and maintenance, condition and hygiene monitoring.