Panicky, restless, overwhelmed, uneasy, and distracted, were just some of the emotions that we experienced on the build-up to our first BRC unannounced audit on Global Standard for Food Safety…. but what is there to worry about?

Our audit window opened from June 1, 2023, for five months. This meant that at any time in this window, our authorised auditing body for the BRCGS, could attend our production facility and shout SURPRISE, and undertake a full quality management and food safety audit, which would take up to three days. The audit cloud was blacking out the usually beautiful Shropshire sunshine and the anticipation of the auditor’s arrival was agonising. For an SME with under 50 employees, this inevitably presents a stretch on resources.  But why all the worry?  We have confidence in our robust food safety management system, with a recently refreshed HACCP team, comprehensive supplier and raw material approval system, strong hygiene regimes, stringent QC methods, a modern and well-maintained facility, and a managing director and senior management team dedicated to upholding our BRC AA certification.

On August 22, 2023, the inevitable happened, the auditor’s unannounced arrival. A warm and friendly welcome was bestowed and replicated by the auditor.

A good start. A thorough dig and delve into our policies, procedures, systems and processes was then initiated, breaking down every clause of the BRC standard. Lots of paper shuffling and keyboard tip-tapping commenced to provide evidence to the auditor that we are compliant. The auditor seemed impressed while observing our brand-new powder blending production facility, and chatted inquisitively with the operatives. With a forever improving food safety culture, backed up with training, awareness and competency testing, the production teams fielded questions and demonstrated knowledge admirably. After three days of auditing, and with sore fingertips and a few minor paper cuts, the audit was brought to a close.

A collective meeting of managers, technical chemists, quality specialists and production operatives, were addressed by the auditor, who reaped praise on the standards and detail that Kudos Blends continues to provide towards food safety and quality. Silent sighs of relief echoed around the room before smiles began to emerge on the faces of everyone involved. We did it!  A successful audit with the recommendation to approve Kudos Blends with an AA+ certification against the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.

So, looking back on the emotions that preceded this unannounced audit, the clues were there, panicky, restless, overwhelmed, uneasy, distracted…. the outcome made us PROUD!

We are extremely proud of the quality of the product we produce, we are proud of the systems we have developed over the last 25 years, we are proud of the commitment we make to the BRC standard and we are proud of the Kudos Blends team that makes this all happen.

UPDATE: Kudos Blends was presented with its BRC AA+ certificate on October 3, 2023.  Our managing director, quality team and everyone involved were thrilled with the outcome, and it continues to show our commitment to food safety.