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FSSC 22000 Certification

FSSC 22000 is a Food Safety Management Systems Certification Schemes that provide assurance to your customers that you have implemented an effective food safety plan and management system.

FSSC 22000 is growing rapidly in popularity, and more and more large retailers and manufacturers expect their customers to achieve certification to help prevent illness and costly, damaging recalls of products. There are now more than 7600 facilities certified worldwide and FSSC 22000 is the fastest growing of the certification schemes.

What is FSSC 22000 Certification?

Having a standardized system for ensuring the integrity and safety of each link in the food chain became critical in order to ensure consumer protection. There are many different sets of standards globally, causing confusion for manufacturers and consumers. Two worldwide organizations have set out to standardize systems, and to achieve global recognition of standardized systems.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed a Food Safety Management System based on the globally accepted Quality Management System, ISO 9001. The Food Safety Management System standard is ISO 22000. The standard is applicable to any company in the food industry, from farmers, manufacturers and transporters to packagers and retailers. ISO 22000 registration is recognized worldwide, and is growing in popularity. The number of registrations has doubled in the last year.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a division of the Consumer Goods Forum and a collaboration of retailers, manufacturers and food service companies that has been working on harmonization of food safety standards. GFSI benchmarks the various food safety standards against a basic set of criteria. Standards meeting the criteria are recognized. Many large retailers and manufacturers are requesting their suppliers to register to a GFSI recognized scheme. One of the benchmarked standards is FSSC 22000.

Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 is an ISO 22000 and PAS 220 based certification scheme for food manufacturers. It includes both the requirements for a Food Safety Management System found in ISO 22000 and the requirements for Prerequisite Programs found in the Publicly Available Standard (PAS) 220. The PAS 220 requirements have also been published in an ISO Technical Specification ISO/TS 22002-1:2009.

ISO and FSSC have the same food safety management system requirements. They differ in the way they define PRP requirements:

ISO 22000 requires that PRPs, appropriate to the organization and product, are implemented to control the likelihood of introducing hazards. The standard does not specify required PRPs and details of the PRPs, but asks the organization to consider and use appropriate information (statutory, regulatory and customer requirements and more).

FSSC 22000 has the above requirements, but includes the PAS 220 which gives specific requirements for PRPs that manufacturers must address.

When choosing a certification scheme keep in mind that FSSC applies only to manufacturers (more detail at, if you are not a manufacturer ISO 22000 will be the standard to use. If you manufacture food products you have a choice of the ISO or FSSC standards. It is important to determine what your customer base is requiring to help determine which standard is right for your organization.

How does a company achieve FSSC 22000 certification?

Once you have decided that ISO 22000 or FSSC 22000 is right for your company, you will need to implement food safety management system processes to meet the requirements of the standard. These requirements go beyond PRPs and HACCP and incorporate processes to manage the system throughout the organization. This means planning, designing, documenting and implementing a comprehensive system of food safety management.

It can take organizations 3-9 months or more to complete implementation in their organization. Once the system is in place and being used as part of day to day business you will have a Registrar come and perform a Certification Audit. If the auditor finds that the system is compliant with the standard and is being followed throughout the organization, they will recommend your facility for certification.

So how does a company plan, design, document and implement the system to become ready for certification? If you have not implemented a management system before, it can be hard to know how to plan and manage all the pieces of the implementation project. FSSC 22000 Project Manager has been designed to give you all of the information you need to proceed confidently through the implementation.

Who needs FSSC 22000 Certification?

This standard can be applied to any company in food manufacturing, food processing, feed manufacturing and food packaging manufacturing. Other types of food businesses would use the ISO 22000 Standard instead of the FSSC 22000 Standard.