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    Introduction to ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems

    ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems entails a family of international standards specifically focussing on effective food safety management. Unsafe food carries several health risks and the ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems standards have been developed to create an international standard to ensure that food products exported and imported across geographical boundaries are safe to use.

    Various standards form part of the ISO 22000 family covering Food Safety Management Systems, each dealing with a certain field of food safety and management including:

    • ISO 22000:2005 – guidelines for effective management of food safety.
    • ISO 22004: 2014 – generic guidance on the implementation of ISO 22000.
    • ISO 22005: 2007 – addressing the need for traceability in the food chain.

    Other standards, such as ISO/TS 22002-1 to 4, cover prerequisites for catering, farming, manufacturing and food packaging. Note that ISO 22000: 2005 is currently under revision and the draft version of the standard is expected to be published during the course of 2016, with the final version expected at the beginning of 2017.

    More about ISO 22000

    The standard outlines the requirements of a food safety management system. Companies can get ISO 22000 certification, which will illustrate their conformance to the requirements and their ability to effectively manage hazards and improve food safety. The standard is applicable to any sized organisation. Certification provides the organisation with credibility, showing their customers that they have an international standard aligned food safety management system in place. Such helps to give customers peace of mind that the products they purchase from the organisation are safe.


    The standard requires the development of a food safety management system, which entails a full documented system and implementation throughout the organisation’s facility. Such a system should include the prerequisite programmes that must be present for a clean and food sanitary environment, the setting up and implementation of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plan (HACCP), which is necessary for the identification, prevention and elimination of any hazards to food safety, and the implementation of relevant processes for managing food safety throughout the organisation. The latter should include the management and day-to-day aspects, operations and communication regarding the safety of food products within the organisation.

    The organisation wishing to ensure compliance with the standards should meet requirements such as the establishment of a food safety policy, objectives of the organisation to comply with the said policy and the documenting of the food safety management system. The organisation must:

    • Keep record of the system’s performance.
    • Set up a group of individuals qualified to manage the food safety.
    • Define the required communication policy and procedures regarding food safety management for communication with outside parties, such as suppliers and customers.
    • Set up an emergency plan to deal with hazards and any crisis.
    • Regularly hold management review meetings to measure performance.
    • Have the required resources for the operation of the food safety management system.
    • Comply with the HACCP principles and implement the prerequisite programmes.
    • Have corrective action systems in place.
    • Document the required procedures for handling of food products and withdrawing such products.
    • Have an internal audit programme in place.
    • Continue to improve their food safety management system.

    We provide 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. Contact us to assist you through the process of becoming compliant and certified in ISO 22000.

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