ISO 22000

certified-food-safety-managerFood Safety Management Systems — Requirements for any organization in the food chain. ISO 22000 is a new International Standard designed to ensure safe supply of foodstuff throughout the entire supply chain on a worldwide basis.

The standard essentially addresses food safety concerns and contains requirements for:

  • HACCP according to the principles of the Codex Alimentarius.
  • A management system.
  • Good manufacturing practices (pre-requisite programmes).
  • Interactive communication within the chain of supply.
  • Reduced insurance premiums.
  • Competitive advantage.
  • Enhance status.

The requirements are intended to be common for all activities from crop and primary source producers, transport and storage operators, retail and food service outlets together with their suppliers, including manufacturers of equipment, and packaging, amongst others.

As the standard covers such a wide range of activities, regardless of size and complexity, it is of necessity, generic in nature.

ISO 22000 OR BRC?

Although both ISO:22000 and BRC Global Standards are designed to be audited by accredited Third Party Certification Bodies, the BRC standards have been specifically developed to address the “due diligence” laws in the United Kingdom. For this reason they have been divided into several different sectors and are highly prescriptive in their requirements. It therefore seems unlikely that ISO.22000, with its generic format, will replace BRC in this particular market.

However, retailers outside the United Kingdom will probably be keen to adopt a common standard which can be applied through all levels of their supply chain, supplementing or replacing ISO 9001 which has otherwise been the only practical alternative.

System Requirements

Companies who wish to apply the standard will need to identify the risks associated with their particular process using the established HACCP principles defined by Codex Alimentarius. These would need to be combined with any relevant industry code of good practice and legal requirements, and contained within a formalized management system such as ISO.9001. Cross references between these standards are given in ISO.22000 for guidance in applying requirements. Further guidance is provided in ISO/TS 22004.

Benefits

Applying the requirements of ISO 22000 should enable an organization to:

  • Plan, implement, operate, maintain and update a food safety management system aimed at providing products that are safe for their intended use.
  • Demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements.
  • Evaluate and assess customer requirements and demonstrate conformity with those relating to food safety.
  • Interactive communication within the chain of supply.
  • Effectively communicate food safety issues to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain.

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