The food safety management system standard ISO 22000 enables any company directly or indirectly involved in the food chain to identify the relevant risks and manage them efficiently.
Preventing food safety failures and assessing legal compliance can help protect your brand. Implementation of a food safety management system compliant with the ISO 22000 standard changes your company’s approach from retroactive quality testing to a preventive way of thinking. Companies face strong requirements from legislators, customers, and consumers to assure consistently safe production processes. An efficient management system tailored to your processes will help you prevent food safety failures and associated costs, and increase the reliability for legal compliance. A commitment to conscious risk management will be one of your main competitive advantages.
What is the ISO 22000 standard?
The ISO 22000 standard is compatible and harmonized with other international management system standards, including ISO 9001. It is ideal for integration with existing management systems and processes.
ISO 22000 is applicable to all organisations directly or indirectly involved in the food value chain. This includes producers of packaging or detergents, suppliers of cleaning services, pest control, or industrial laundry services. It allows you to assess and demonstrate conformity of the product in relation to food safety and to demonstrate control of food safety hazards. The standard ensures food safety from farm to fork based on these generally recognized key elements:
- Interactive communication: An innovative and essential factor for risk management. A structured informative flow in every direction, internally and externally. It guarantees effective control of hazards.
- System management: The control of the interaction between the system’s elements guarantees efficiency and the effectiveness of the system.
- Prerequisite programmes: Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygiene Practices, Good Agricultural Practices, including e.g. equipment and buildings maintenance programmes and procedures, and pest control programmes, are the pillars on which a HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) system is based.
- HACCP principles: The basic methodology to plan safe production processes which are appropriate for every individual company, without unnecessary bureaucracy.
Why is certification good for my business?
The potential benefits of ISO 22000 are numerous, but the most significant are tangible and demonstrable improvements in food safety performance and a greater level of assurance in the area of legal compliance.
The ISO 22000 standard enables your organisation to:
- Build and operate a food safety management system within a well-defined and clear framework that is flexible to your business needs and expectations.
- Understand what the actual risks are for the consumers and for your company.
- Provide a tool for food safety performance improvement and the means to monitor and measure food safety performance effectively.
- Better meet food safety legal compliance and corporate requirements.
Certification to the standard provides an effective means for your company to communicate with stakeholders and other interested parties. It is an important element in demonstrating food safety commitment under corporate governance, corporate responsibility, and financial reporting requirements.
How can I prepare for certification?
The process described in ISO 22000 includes the following steps:
- Identify, evaluate, and control the food safety hazards that may be expected to occur in order to avoid harming the consumer directly or indirectly
- Communicate appropriate information through the food chain regarding safety issues related to the product
- Communicate information concerning development, implementation, and updating of the food safety management system throughout the organisation
- Evaluate periodically and update, when necessary, the food safety management system to cover the company’s actual activities and the most recent information on food safety hazards
Development, implementation, and certification of a food safety management system is a continuous journey, with the independent audit representing one element of the total assessment process.