Food safety is one of the most important fundamental in the food industry. This topic concerns the end consumers as much as every companies involved in the supply and production chain. This is the reason why certifications and legal standards are so important in the management of quality in the food industry. Only a transparent and explicit set of rules and monitoring of the whole process can guarantee a good food quality for the end consumer.
Certifications and ISO standards make sure that specifications and requirements are observed, documented and controlled. While some standards are industry specific (such as the BRC for trade) and other product specific, the ISO 22000 certification unifies different standards and norms to guarantee international food safety.
To help you understand the ISO 22000 certification, here are the most important aspects of the standard and what you need to know.
ISO 22000 is an international quality management system for food safety. A certification can be effective all along the production chain, allowing companies such as food packaging or additives producers to get certified as well.
References to HACCP and to ISO 9001
The ISO 22000 Standard is based on the principles of the ISO 9001 and developed in accordance with the HACCP fundamentals. The legal procedure used as fundamental for the HACCP is strongly tied with the the management system ISO 22000.
Content of the ISO 22000
The requirements of the standard cover several stages of food safety in the production process such as supplier monitoring, personal hygiene or even implementation of rules regarding the handling of control points (HACCP). A central function of implementing the ISO Standard is the transparent and consequent documentation of all important processes.
The standard covers among other:
- Structure and documentation of a management system
- Execution of a risk analysis
- Preparation and implementation of a HACCP concept and a Prerequisite Program (PRP) as well as an Operative Prevention Program (OPRP)
- Effective communication, internal and external (with suppliers, traders, end consumers, etc.)
- Evaluation (validation and verification) of all measures aiming to a steady improvement of food safety.
Procedure of the ISO 22000
The ISO 22000 certification has a validity of 3 years and is controlled yearly by a monitoring audit. To get the certification, you will need to go through the following steps:
1- Pre-audit (optional)
2- Certification audit
3- Issue of the certificate
4- Monitoring audit
5- Recertification audit
The audits required for a successful certification are divided in two parts. In the first audit, the controlling body will check if the company is suitable for the implementation of the norms. Documents will be checked on location and potential food hazard will be identified with a risk analysis or an analysis of the prevention program. This will set the measures for the second audit leading to the implementation of the norm and to the certification itself.
Planned revision of the ISO 22000
ISO 22000 was first published in 2005 and has been frequently updated since then. A larger revision is being made and we are expecting the update to be published in the coming months of 2017. The following aspects of the certification should be improved:
- Better guidelines implementation for SMEs
- Details should be added to some domains such as control points or risks evaluation
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