Basics to Understand FSSC Implementation
FSSC implementation can only be done once you have a full understanding of FSSC 22000. It is a Food Safety Management Certification Scheme. In essence, FSSC 22000 provides the framework for requirements for minimisation of food safety hazards. It has an integrated process approach for optimal control over food safety.
Once your organisation has completed the FSSC implementation process, you can apply for certification, which is managed by the Foundation for Food Safety Certification.
Why the System?
The system came into being to address the need expressed by operators within the food industry to gain certification that the Global Food Safety Initiative or GFSI recognises, which gives the companies international recognition for their compliance commitment.
It follows a systems management approach that can be integrated with other management systems, such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 14001 for environmental management, into a single management system. The ISO technical standards form the basis for meeting prerequisites, while the FSSC 22000 system uses ISO 22000 for management system prerequisites.
Auditing for the purpose of determining conformance for certification purposes also follows the principles of the ISO management systems. It doesn’t follow a checklist-based auditing system. These audits are used to determine whether the organisation meets the requirements of ISO 22000 management system and the technical requirements of the other ISO standards. Note that the FSSC or FSMS audits don’t work on a grading system for certification.
Before attempting implementation, we recommend that you make use of our expertise in conducting a GAP analysis to determine areas of non-compliance.
We will help prepare your organisation for complete implementation, help set up the system, integrate it with your existing management systems, and assist with the internal and external audits. In addition, we provide an extensive range of courses to help prepare the key employees for their roles.
Who is GFSI?
It is a collaboration effort between manufacturers, food service providers and retailers along with the Consumer Goods Forum operating with the focus of creating a harmonised food safety standard that can be applied worldwide. It is used for benchmarking the standards against certain criteria. International pressure is on for suppliers to become GFSI recognised.
More on ISO 22000
It is an international standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation dealing specifically with the design, development and implementation of an ISO compliant Food Safety Management System. This system basically has the same structure as other ISO standards, such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.
The standard is relevant to any organisations operating within the food industry, including retailers, restaurants, hotels, manufacturers, food transporters, farmers and any suppliers of food products.
GFSI doesn’t recognise certification in ISO 22000 and with GFSI being a key player in international circles, it has become increasingly important for operators within the food industry to implement FSSC 22000 and to seek recognition from GFSI.
Note that for operators within the food packaging industry, PAS 223 forms the prerequisite programme, while other operators must meet the ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 requirements.
Implementation of FSSC 22000 for the purpose of certification entails meeting the requirements stipulated in three FSSC 22000 documents. Part one covers the requirements for certification, then ISO 22000:2005 covers the food management system requirements and the third document covers requirements for the prerequisite programmes.
For the prerequisite programmes, the organisation must use the documents relevant to their operational scope, such as ISO/TS 22002-1 for manufacturing of foods, ISO /TS 22002:4 for manufacturing safety and packaging of food, whilst PAS 222 deals with operators in animal food and feed ingredients.
ISO 22000 provides the basis because it is an international food safety standard that can be integrated with HACCP and it is applicable to the entire food supply chain. It provides a framework for good practices in manufacturing and for maintaining a hygienic environment when manufacturing, producing, preparing and supplying food-related products.
Why Help is Needed with FSSC Implementation
Avoid the confusion that can come from not knowing which prerequisite standard applies to your organisation. It is rather complex. For instance, PAS 223 is applicable to food packaging and manufacturing material, whilst PAS 222 is applicable to feed production and single ingredient compound feed, and perishable vegetable and animal products fall under ISO/TS 22002-1. Ensure that your employees are properly trained, that you understand all the requirements and meet compliance requirements for the purpose of certification.