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FSSC 22000 Standard - Basic principles and updates

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 19/01/2017

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Food safety is a central topic for all parties working in the food industry, from the production and supply chain up to the end consumer. With new food scandals every year, monitoring and controlling every food safety management systems is a key aspect of food production and manufacturing.

The FSSC 22000 standard is one of the most common certifications in the food industry that unifies legal requirements and several other food safety standards. Here are the certificate principles and upcoming improvement made in the 4th version of the standard.

What is the FSSC 22000 Standard?

The FSSC 22000 Standard (Food Safety System Certification) has been first released in 2005 and controls the application of food safety measures in the manufacturing and processing of food products. This standards requires the introduction of a quality management system for food safety such as the ISO 22000 and the observance of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Since 2009, the international FSSC Standard is worldwide recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and unifies several norms and standards under an official and auditable standard, offering concrete requirements for food safety management systems. The standard combines together the HACCP, the ISO 22000 and the PAS 220/ISO 22002-1 (PAS, Publicly Available Specification, are public requirements and specifications which are less binding and can be used by every company).

To whom applies the FSSC Standard?

The standard covers every step along the production and supply chain, from the production and preparation of animal products to the production of packaging material, the transport and the trade of food products.

Certified companies can prove internationally that they follow every legal requirement for an efficient safe food management. Small and Medium sized companies can integrate an established system for their existing processes and avoid food safety hazards.

More than 13 000 organisations in 140 countries are already FSSC 22000 certified.

Content of the FSSC Standard:

The standard covers amongst other requirements about documentation, control and improvement of the food safety management system as well as guidelines for each step and parties of the certification process.

The basic rules of the FSSC Standard is divided in six parts and six further annexes.

Part 0 – Definitions
Part I – Scheme Overview
Part II – Requirements for Certification
Part III – Requirements for Certification Process
Part IV – Requirements for Certification Bodies
Part V – Requirements for Accreditation Bodies

Annex 1 Part IV – Certificate scope statements
Annex 2 Part IV – Audit time calculation
Annex 3 Part IV – Nonconformity grading
Annex 4 Part IV – Audit reports
Annex 4a Part IV – Audit report template
Annex 5 Part IV – Auditor competence
Annex 6.1 Part IV – FSSC 22000 Certificate


The certificate has a validity of 3 years and is issued by an independent certification body after successfully passing two stages of audits. The certified organization is then controlled every year to check the compliance to the certificate requirements.

Amendments and update of the version 4

A new version of the FSSC Standard has been published at the end of 2016. The new version of the standard and its changes will come into effect in January 2018. The updated version of the standard covers the following improvements:

  • accompanying manuals are now more concrete and the guidelines better integrated in the standard
  • unannounced monitoring audits are now an obligation, contrary to the BRC or the IFS where they are optional
  • extension to the following domains: storage & transport, service and catering, trade
  • New: documentation and control of potential weak points for food fraud.
  • Modification of the FSSC 22000 logo

Further information


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Tags: Certifications, tips