Root cause analysis is a new area of the BRC6 Standard for Food Safety. Clause 3.7.1 requires the “identification of the root cause of the non-conformity and implementation of any necessary action.” Root cause is the underlying cause of a problem, if successfully addressed it will prevent a recurrence of that problem.
Corrective action (sometimes called immediate corrective action) is the action taken to manage the non-conformance and should be completed soon after detecting the problem. Root cause analysis may then be required. Following root cause analysis the site must develop a proposed action plan to correct each of the root causes in order to prevent recurrence of the non-conformity.
Once the proposed action plan is implemented there needs to be verification and monitoring to ensure the plan was effective. There are many methods that can be used for example, the 5 whys and the fishbone, the latter being more complex. Both require objective evidence and data gathering when answering the question of why the non-conformance occurred.
For more information regarding BRC Standards please contact Karen Czarnota at Food Quality Consulting Ltd on 0845 609 0383 or use the contact form here.