Reaseheath College’s outstanding Food Processing Halls team has once again achieved the highest standards of Food Safety and Hygiene within a food production facility.

Following a rigorous audit against the latest BRCGS (British Retail Consortium Global Standard) Version 8, the team has been awarded the prestigious AA standard for a third consecutive year. This is the highest possible benchmark for best practice in food manufacture and proof that our Food Centre operates under highly controlled conditions and at the highest industry standards.

Delighted Processing Halls Manger Mike Bennett said: “As always this was a tough two days, probably the hardest I’ve ever experienced. The auditor spent many hours talking to staff and students to gain an understanding of their level of food safety knowledge, as well as checking hygiene standards and scrutinising our policies and procedures. The auditor was extremely complimentary about student knowledge and their ability to work to industry standards.

“Huge credit goes to Quality Assurance Co-ordinator Laura Bateman for her tireless efforts to implement our Quality Management System and ensure compliance against the BRC standard. The performance of our whole Food Team has been outstanding, with everyone contributing to ensuring a satisfactory and deserved outcome.

“This result demonstrates that the team has an exceptional food safety management system in place and shows commitment and continual improvement around food safety. This is without doubt a fantastic achievement.”

The audit was led by Laura with support from Food Technologists Jen Newall, Penny Masters, Kate Chantler, Zoe Hodge, Jane Gilman, Isla Newall, Sue Moors and Maintenance Engineers Damien Murphy and Elliott Bateman. Also pictured are Processing Halls Manager Mike Bennett and Food Centre Manager Nick Blakemore.

Grade AA certification is aimed at suppliers of major retailers. Although Reaseheath does not necessarily need this highest standard to operate, the college’s ethos is to ensure students are trained under industry conditions.

Reaseheath’s £7 million Food Centre was opened in 2011 and remains one of the best equipped food processing teaching and practical facilities in Europe. Built to exacting standards and staffed by a team of specialist food technologists recruited directly from the food industry, the centre has dairy processing halls and production areas for butchery, bakery, cake design and confectionery.

Many local, national and international food and drink manufacturers hire our facilities for new product research and development, technical advice or staff training. Current industry partners include Oceanium, a biotechnology company which develops bio-packaging and food products from sustainably-farmed seaweed and is intensifying its plant based food and drink development.

For further details please visit the Reaseheath Business Hub website and watch our video at