Introduction to ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 Certification

Cynthia Weber, March 31, 2010

ISO 22000

Introduction to the ISO 22000:2005 and FSSC 22000 standards

ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000  are both standards for Food Safety Management Systems registration schemes. That means that the standards contain requirements for a Food Safety Management System that can be certified by an accredited body.

Any food organization will benefit from ISO 22000 Certification; it is an independent verification that the organization has an effective Food Safety Management System in place. The worldwide recognition of ISO 22000 Certification and FSSC 22000 Certification means that all of the organization’s potential customers will be likely to recognize the registration.

Differences between ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 standards

The ISO 22000 scheme and the FSSC 22000 scheme differ slightly. ISO 22000 Certification applies to all organizations in the food chain. FSSC 22000 Certification applies only to food manufacturers and is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative, GFSI. The FSSC 22000 scheme requirements are made up of the ISO 22000:2005 standard and one more document, the PAS 220:2008. (NOTE: The PAS 220 has now been withdrawn and replaced by ISO/TS 22002-1, which has requirements identical to those originally published in the PAS 220.)

Although ISO 22000 includes a section on Prerequisite programs(PRPs) , it does not call out specific requirements on what must be in them. It puts the responsibility on the organization to determine the necessary elements of the PRPs. This helps make the ISO 22000 applicable to all organizations in the food chain.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarks certification or registration schemes. Many large retailers and multinational food organizations require suppliers to use a GFSI benchmarked scheme. When GFSI looked at the ISO 22000 standard, they determined that they would like to see more specific requirements for PRPs, applying to food manufacturers. Because ISO 22000 lacked this detail, GFSI assisted in the creation of the Publicly Available Specification, PAS 220, published by BSI. This document contains detailed requirements for PRPs. When the two documents are combined they make up the FSSC 22000 Scheme, which has been fully recognized and accepted by GFSI.

ISO has now published a document similar to the PAS 220, a technical specification called ISO/TS 22002-1. This has the same requirements as the PAS 220, and may be used by food manufacturers seeking registration to ISO 22000.

ISO 22000 makes up the majority of the FSSC 22000 system. We will focus on these requirements in this blog on ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000, and will refer to the system as ISO 22000. Remember that ISO 22000 is part of FSSC 22000 and the information applies to both of the registration schemes. For the additional PAS 220 document and requirements see our page on PRPs.

What is ISO 22000?

The current version of ISO 22000 is ISO 22000:2005. It is a set of requirements for a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) established to address the need for a worldwide standard that is supported by an independent international organization to encourage harmonization of national and private standards.

Worldwide, many different standards exist. Because of this various HACCP requirements or criteria are applied in individual countries, and can differ in content and levels, some calling for 3rd party auditing. In different countries the auditors have different levels of experience and knowledge, resulting in various levels of implementation. By having the internationally constant ISO 22000 the hope is to overcome these variations and provide one system that is recognized worldwide.

ISO 22000 applies to all stages of the supply chain. It is aligned with ISO 9001 to enhance compatibility with existing management system approaches. ISO 22000 can be applied to any stage of the supply chain, from feed producers and food manufacturers to transporters.



Where can you get more information on the requirements of ISO 22000?
ISO 22000 Online Training

Where can you purchase the standards