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ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems

Food safety is a major concern for consumers because the results of consuming inadequately prepared or contaminated food can be serious and even life threatening. At the same time, businesses within the food industry know that producing poor quality products will damage their reputation. 

Related: Enterprise Listeriosis outbreak: How it started, how it was traced, and how it was finally stopped 

How does ISO 22000 contribute?

In June 2018, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the revised version of ISO 22000 known as ISO 22000:2018. ISO explains that ISO 22000:2018 “sets out the requirements for a food safety management system and can be certified to. 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.” 

What is ISO 22000 used for? 

Aside from outlining the crucial components of an efficient Food Safety Management System (FSMS), ISO 22000:2018 allows businesses in the food industry to effectively plan, implement, operate, maintain and update their existing system. Adding to this, organisations can demonstrate their compliance with any applicable food safety requirements and ensure that everyone within the workplace conforms to its stated food safety policy. As a requirement, businesses must always be prepared for any unexpected problems that could occur within the production process. 

Who can use ISO 22000:2018? 

ISO 22000 is available to all organisations in the food industry, regardless of its size or sector. ISO 22000:2018 was published on June 19, 2018 and effectively replaces its predecessor, ISO 22000:2005.  Organisations have three years from the date of publication to transition to the new version. This means that companies have until 18 June 2021 to transition and comply with ISO 22000:2018 to remain ISO 22000 certified. 

The adoption of ISO’s shared High-Level Structure (HLS) is probably the biggest difference between ISO 22000:2018 and ISO 22000:2005. HLS has become the common framework for management system standards as its inclusion makes the integration of multiple systems easier. For example, ISO 22000:2018 compliant organisations can be entirely ISO 9001:2015 compliant at the same time.

 ISO 22000 and HACCP 

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a management system which aims to prevent any biological, chemical, and physical hazards that may occur during the production processes. ISO 22000:2018 is based on HACCP principles except that, while HACCP is an internal process that is unique to each food producer, ISO 22000:2018 extends beyond that and focuses food safety on a global scale.

The benefits of implementing ISO 22000

In addition to helping organisations reduce risks and improve performance, the benefits of being ISO 22000 compliant include: 

  • Improved health and safety: By minimising food risks, customers, employees and anyone else that may come into contact with the food can enjoy better health and safety outcomes.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Having a food safety management system in place will help to deliver safe and reliable products that meet customer expectations. In turn, this will build consumer trust in the organisation.
  • Transparency: ISO 22000 helps businesses to improve the traceability of their products and achieve greater transparency regarding operations.
  • Quick response to risks: Organisations are able to respond faster and more efficiently to issues that may negatively affect food safety and quality. This helps to prevent any contamination during the production process.
  • Reduced investigation time: in the event that contamination does occur, an effective food safety management system will help the organisation to reduce the time it takes to investigate when, how and why it occurred. This not only saves time, but also helps to prevent future contamination.

In conclusion, ISO 22000:2018 has been designed for voluntary use. Certification is not a requirement of ISO 22000, but it is recommended.  Keeping in mind that a significant amount of the food produced daily is exported to other countries, international standards and a food safety management system is necessary to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain. 

How WWISE can help. 

WWISE provides a range of training courses, audit programmes and assistance in developing integrated food safety management systems for the purpose of compliance and certification in ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems. Gain the credibility your firm needs to ensure that your suppliers, partners and customers can have confidence in your food products. Call us on 08610 99473 or email admin@wwise.co.za for us to assist you through the process of becoming compliant and certified in ISO 22000.