ISO 22000 is a standard that defines and specifies requirements for developing and implementing a food safety management system (FSMS). It maps out what an organization needs to do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe.
As many of today’s food products repeatedly cross national boundaries, international standards are needed to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain. ISO 22000, formally titled Food safety management systems – Requirements aims to achieve international harmonization leading to greater food safety throughout the supply chain across borders for any organization in the food chain. It was first published on September 2005 by the International Organization for Standardization.
This International Standard is intended to address only those aspects concerning food safety. However, because of its approach, it can also be used to organize and respond to other food specific aspects (e.g. ethical issues and consumer awareness). ISO 22000 can be closely incorporated with the quality management system of ISO 9001, but unlike ISO 9001, the standard is a more procedurally oriented guidance than a principle based one. This standard’s main objectives are to:
- Ensure consumer protection and strengthen their confidence,
- Strengthen food safety,
- Encourage cooperation between industries and governments, and
- Improve cost performance throughout the food supply chain.
As with other International Standards, all the requirements of ISO 22000 are generic and apply to all organizations, large or small, operating within the food supply chain (familiarly speaking, from farm to fork). An organization that decides to adopt ISO 22000 as the guideline for their FSMS will show their customers that they are able to consistently provide safe food, thus increasing their confidence in the product. By aligning to ISO 22000 an organization will be able to:
- Plan, implement, operate, maintain and update an effective FSMS.
- Provide products that are safe and increase customer satisfaction.
- Demonstrate compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
- Effectively communicate issues relating to food safety to their suppliers, customers and stakeholders in the food chain.
- Demonstrate such conformity to relevant stakeholders.
- Improve the use of resources and increase profits.
The latest version of this standard is ISO 22000:2005, however it is currently under review and the new revision is scheduled to be released in 2017. The ISO 22000 family includes several standards, each with a specific focus on the management of food safety, these are:
- ISO 22004:2014 provides generic advice on the application of ISO 22000
- ISO 22005:2007 focuses on traceability in the feed and food chain
- ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 contains specific prerequisites for food manufacturing
- ISO/TS 22002-2:2013 contains specific prerequisites for catering
- ISO/TS 22002-3:2011 contains specific prerequisites for farming
- ISO/TS 22002-4:2013 contains specific prerequisites for food packaging manufacturing
- ISO/TS 22003:2013 provides guidelines for audit and certification bodies
ISO 22000 is also used in the Food Safety Systems Certification (FSSC) scheme FS22000, which is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) approved scheme. Organizations seeking demonstrate conformance with ISO 22000, can do so by performing a self-assessment or self-declaration of conformity or obtaining a certification by an external body.