SALSA is an acronym for 'Safe and Local Supplier Approval'. It is recognised as the leading food safety certification scheme for the UK's small food and drink producers, for those normally having between 1 and 50 full-time employees. It is widely accepted by both retailers and food service providers, making it the scheme of choice for both suppliers and buyers alike.
To start the process, visit the SALSA website (www.salsafood.co.uk) to download a copy of the audit standard. Contact SALSA mentors at FTC to arrange a site visit, during which a pre-audit gap analysis will be carried out to determine further actions required to fulfil the requirements. Once registered, the SALSA scheme also provides on-line access to a range of guidance materials to assist in preparing for the audit.
The four areas covered by the audit are Prerequisite Controls; HACCP & Management Systems; Documentation and the Premises. Food manufacturers will already have the basics in place and it is often just a matter of documenting current practices and implementing policies.
A SALSA auditor will visit annually on a pre-arranged date to audit the company against the standard. Should any corrective actions be required, these can be submitted within 28 days. Certified companies can make use of the SALSA logo and will be listed in a register of SALSA-approved companies frequently browsed by buyers.
The British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety provides the next step up from SALSA for larger food companies. With 23,000 certified suppliers in 123 countries, it is recognised worldwide and is now often a fundamental requirement of leading retailers.
Visit the website www.brcglobalstandards.com to register and download the audit standard. FTC staff are trained to mentor your company through the requirements and work with you to achieve certification. The scheme requires significant time and commitment to implement. The seven areas covered by the audit are Senior Management Commitment; The Food Safety Plan – HACCP; Food Safety and Quality Management System; Site Standards; Product Control; Process Control and Personnel.
The outcome of the audit is graded from AA to D for announced audits and AA+ to D+ for unannounced audits. The grade depends on the number and type of non-conformities identified. Re-audits are required every 12 months, or 6 months at C grade or below. Successful companies can use the BRC logo, receive a certificate and be included in the BRC Directory.