Become Familiar with the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System

Food safety is a critical aspect of the food industry. It is important to ensure that all food products are safe for human consumption. In order to ensure food safety, many businesses turn to ISO 22000. This international standard helps businesses create a food safety management system that meets the requirements of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of ISO 22000 and how it can help your business maintain high standards of food safety!

What is Food Safety?

Food safety is the scientific discipline concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of food, in order to ensure that it is safe for human consumption. It includes all aspects of food safety, from foodborne illnesses to food spoilage. Food safety is a growing concern in the global food industry, as foodborne illnesses can cause serious health problems, and even death, in some cases.

iso food system

ISO 22000 and Food Safety

Food safety is a top priority for consumers, food producers, and retailers alike. In order to ensure that food is safe to eat, it must be produced under conditions that prevent contamination with harmful bacteria, viruses, or other toxins. The International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) ISO 22000 standard provides a framework for an effective Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that can be used by any organization in the food supply chain.

An FSMS based on ISO 22000 can help organizations identify and control food safety hazards, and ensure that food is safe for consumption. The standard covers all aspects of food safety, from farm to fork. It includes requirements for hazard identification and risk assessment, control of food safety hazards, and monitoring and improvement of the FSMS.

Key Requirements of ISO 22000

There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to achieve compliance with ISO 22000. The four key requirements among them are: 

1. Food Safety Policy:

The food safety policy must be designed to protect the safety of the food product. It should identify the hazards that could potentially cause food contamination, and outline the controls that will be put in place to prevent these hazards from occurring.

2. Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment:

All potential hazards that could contaminate food must be identified and assessed for their potential to cause harm. This includes physical, chemical, and biological hazards.

3. Control of Food Safety Hazards:

Once the hazards have been identified and assessed, controls must be put in place to prevent or eliminate them. These controls can include Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), sanitary design of food processing facilities, and testing and monitoring programs.

4. Monitoring and Improvement:

The FSMS must be constantly monitored and improved to ensure that it is effective in preventing food contamination. This includes regular audits and the implementation of corrective and preventive actions when necessary.

How to Implement FSMS in Your Organization?

Understand the requirements of ISO 22000

The first step in implementing an ISO 22000-based FSMS in your organization is to understand the requirements of the standard. You can do this by purchasing a copy of the standard from the ISO website. Familiarizing yourself with the requirements will help you to determine what needs to be done in order to achieve compliance.

Develop a food safety policy

The next step is to develop a food safety policy that meets the requirements of ISO 22000. This policy should be developed with input from all stakeholders, including management, employees, suppliers, and customers. The policy should be designed to ensure that all food safety hazards are controlled and that the finished product is safe for consumption.

Implement a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system

A key component of an ISO 22000-based FSMS is a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. HACCP is a risk-based approach to food safety that focuses on identifying and controlling food safety hazards at critical points in the food supply chain. In order to implement HACCP, you will need to conduct a hazard analysis and identify critical control points (CCPs) in your process. You will then need to put controls in place to prevent or eliminate the hazards at these CCPs.

Establish food safety objectives and targets

Once you have developed your food safety policy and implemented a HACCP system, you will need to establish food safety objectives and targets. These objectives and targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They should be designed to drive continuous improvement in your FSMS.

Implement prerequisite programs

Prerequisite programs are the foundation of an effective FSMS. They are the basic sanitation and food safety practices that must be in place in order to produce safe food. Prerequisite programs for a food processing facility may include Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and Good Hygiene Practices (GHPs).

Train employees on the FSMS

Once the above steps have been completed, you will need to train your employees on the new FSMS. Employees should be trained on the requirements of ISO 22000, as well as on any new procedures or practices that have been put in place as part of the FSMS implementation. Training should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure that employees are aware of the latest changes to the FSMS.

Process for ISO 22000 Certification

Register with a Certification Body:

In order to get your FSMS certified to ISO 22000, you will need to register with a certification body. Certification bodies are independent organizations that provide third-party certification of management systems.

Complete the relevant paperwork:

Once you have registered with a certification body, you will need to complete the relevant paperwork. This paperwork will include a self-assessment questionnaire and an application for certification.

Review by the certification body:

Once the certification body has received your completed paperwork, it will review it to determine if you are eligible for certification.

Stage 1 Audit:

If you are found to be eligible for certification, the certification body will conduct a Stage 1 audit of your FSMS. This audit is conducted to assess your readiness for the Stage 2 audit.

Stage 2 Audit:

The Stage 2 audit is the final step in the certification process. This audit is conducted on-site at your facility and will include a review of your FSMS documentation and procedures, as well as interviews with employees, this is done to assess your overall compliance with the requirements of ISO 22000.

Certification:

If you are found to be in compliance with ISO 22000, you will be awarded a certificate of conformity. 

Conclusion

The ISO 22000 food safety management system is an internationally recognized set of standards that provides guidelines for businesses involved in the manufacture, processing, packaging, and storage of food products. By establishing and implementing a food safety management system that meets the requirements of the standard, businesses can help minimize the risk of contamination and ensure that their products are safe for consumption.