ISO 22000 Food Safety System

Food safety is a global concern. Public health issues can significantly impact on trade. Legislation, in most countries, requires proprietors of food companies to implement HACCP principles into food production systems. A management system based on HACCP principles allows organizations to identify, document, maintain and review food hazards that occur during the food production process
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000:2005 Standard:Requirements for a Food Safety Management System demonstrates an organization’s commitment to food safety, and provides a means to demonstrate that an organization is taking the necessary steps to control food safety hazards.

 

Embed and improve the internal processes needed to provide consistently safe food Provide confidence to the organization and the management team that the organization's practices and procedures are in place and that they are effective and robust Provide confidence to customers and other stakeholders (through the ISO 22000 certification process) that the organization has the ability to control food safety hazards and provide safe products Provide a means of continual improvement that ensures that the food safety management system is reviewed and updated so that all activities related to food safety are continually optimized and effective Ensure adequate control at all stages of the food supply chain to prevent the introduction of food safety hazards Food-safety management systems function only when the interdependent methods between food producers, suppliers, and customers are understood and managed. This includes a clear understanding of responsibility and provisions for accountability at all levels. This can only be done in light of a structured management system such as one conforming with ISO 22000. Largely preventive ISO 22000 follows a long tradition of preventive actions, identified and regulated by quality and food safety professionals. Three brief ISO 22000 concepts imported from ISO 9001 are planning (i.e., things work better when there is a plan and the plan is followed and enforced), procedures (i.e., consistency for extended time periods, especially when multiple people are involved), and employee competence (i.e., the use of competent personnel is necessary to achieve required results). Other concepts include document control, control of records, corrective action, measurement, and many others too numerous to mention in this article. Approximately half of the pages of ISO 22000 closely follow or are identical to the text in ISO 9001. ISO 22000 dedicates substantial effort to defining requirements specific to food safety management. These requirements can be divided into two broad themes: o Methods and practices related to planning and realization of safe foods o Methods and practices for validation, verification, and improvement of the food safety management system Food safety requirements Because much of HACCP was included in ISO 22000, it's important to understand a little bit of what HACCP is. HACCP could be defined as the system used to formally identify, evaluate, and control hazards that are significant to food safety. HACCP activities require 12 very logical and straightforward steps:

 

Benefits Of ISO 22000 :2005

  • Assemble the HACCP team that will ensure that the HACCP plan is properly completed and implemented.
  • Describe the product associated with the specific HACCP plan; organizations that produce multiple products may have several HACCP plans.
  • Identify the intended use of the product.
  • Construct flow diagrams showing the flow and steps associated with the product and process steps.
  • Confirm the flow diagram by direct investigation or observation, list all potential hazards associated with the flow, and conduct a hazard analysis to determine which hazards need to be controlled.
  • Identify and consider control measures that can be undertaken to prevent the hazard.
  • Determine the critical control points where controls will be put in place to ensure food safety.
  • Establish critical limits for each critical control point where acceptable levels are clearly defined.
  • Establish a monitoring system for each critical control point.
  • Establish corrective actions to be taken when critical limits have been exceeded.
  • Establish verification procedures to monitor results.
  • Establish documentation and record keeping to provide evidence of control. One of the differences between HACCP and ISO 22000 is the ISO standard's emphasis of the use of prerequisite programs (PRPs). PRPs are generic controls used by any food business operation to maintain hygienic conditions in the processing environment. PRPs stipulate the preconditions necessary for producing safe food. Depending on the type of activity involved, the following defined requirements should be considered: Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Good Hygienic Practice (GHP) Good Production Practice (GPP) Good Distribution Practice (GDP) Additional components of prerequisite programs include, for example, cleaning and sanitizing; pest control; personnel hygiene; construction and layout of buildings and associated utilities; supplies of air, water, energy, and other utilities; supporting services such as waste and sewage disposal; supplier control; employee training; and more. Rationale for adoption of ISO 22000 Organizations should consider adoption of ISO 22000 for three principle reasons: Benefits in the marketplace. Customers receive confidence through the demonstrated implementation and ongoing maintenance of the system. As organizations along the supply chain adopt ISO 22000 or become subject to customer controls along the food supply chain, the market achieves assurance that there are no weak links in the food chain.

 

Benefits to the organization producing the food. The organization has confidence that it has done the right things to provide control over activities that affect food safety. The system is well-planned, monitored, audited (internally and externally), and measured, and feedback is provided in a timely manner to decision makers. ISO 22000 goes well beyond regulatory requirements. ISO 22000 includes--but goes beyond--existing HACCP programs. HACCP programs are excellent and work very well to prevent food safety problems, but they are not supported by an overarching systematic approach that includes many of the components extracted from ISO 9001. What potential users should know about ISO 22000 ISO 22000 works for all organizations regardless of their size. The standard outlines best practices that deliver results and convey confidence to the organization as well as its stakeholders. This confidence is demonstrated by the internal audit process and, in particular, the external audit process through ISO 22000 registration. Failures in food safety practices are dangerous and expensive. It is obviously easier, less dangerous, and less expensive to prevent these problems before they occur. ISO 22000 harmonizes various industry and national standards for food safety. Increasing requirements from customers and other stakeholders within the food chain demand increased rigor and demonstrated results.


There is an increasing need to provide evidence of conformance to an internationally accepted and approved set of requirements. If your organization participates in any part of the food industry, you will likely want to consider learning more about ISO 22000. A brief list of organizations that may need to consider ISO 22000 may include: Food manufacturers Producers of food ingredients Agricultural producers Transporters of raw or finished food products Storage facilities for raw or finished food products Packers Subcontractors within the food chain Retailers Wholesalers Producers of animal feed Food equipment manufacturers Food packaging manufacturers Tips For a successful implementation of ISO 22000 you will need to create a clear project plan including the identification of responsibilities, tasks, and an associated timeline. Wherever possible, make use of what you are currently doing related to quality or food safety. It doesn't make sense to change something that's working. You will need to communicate the purpose and benefits of ISO 22000 to employees. Be prepared to overcome the arguments, which are the same arguments encountered by any standards implementation: There's too much paper, there's too much complexity, it's not appropriate for a small business, and/or the bar is set too high for the organization. Educate people on the technical aspects of ISO 22000 (i.e., auditing, creation of effective documents, food safety specific tasks, biological contamination, etc.).


The future ISO 22000 is currently undergoing review and approval by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Acceptance by GFSI will energize acceptance and usage of ISO 22000 worldwide. All ISO standards are reviewed and amended as needed on a five-year cycle. The revision process for ISO 22000 will begin in the next few months. ISO 22000 overlaps and works well in conjunction with existing HACCP and ISO 9001 initiatives. Expect future revisions to increase the links between these documents as well as future revisions of other standards: environmental management, risk management, security management, and others. *BENEFITS OF ISO 27001:2005* The benefits of standardization, and of implementation of one or more of the ISO 27000 series are wide and varied. Although they tend to differ from organization to organization, many are common. The following is a list of potential benefits. As with many items on this website, this is an ongoing project. Please feel free to add further points via the comments option below. Interoperability This is a general benefit of standardization. The idea is that systems from diverse parties are more likely to fit together if they follow a common guideline. Assurance Management can be assured of the quality of a system, business unit, or other entity, if a recognized framework or approach is followed. Due Diligence Compliance with, or certification against, and international standard is often used by management to demonstrate due diligence. Bench Marking Organizations often use a standard as a measure of their status within their peer community. It can be used as a bench mark for current position and progress. Awareness Implementation of a standard such as ISO 27001 can often result in greater security awareness within an organization. Alignment Because implementation of ISO 27001 (and the other ISO 27000 standards) tends to involve both business management and technical staff, greater IT and Business alignment often results. *BENEFITS OF ISO 13485:2003 * ISO 13485 also incorporates many of the quality management principles and delivers the benefits of an ISO 9001 based quality management system including:


1. Expanded market access gives you: You will be able to work within many countries where ISO 13485 is a regulatory requirement and with many organizations where it is a contractual obligation or expectation. Your company will be able to win more business opportunities - particularly where procurement specifications require certification as a condition to supply in a highly regulated sector. The certification serves as a proven credential as it is an independent verification against recognized standards. ISO 13485 is globally recognized as the "best quality practices" from organizations within the medical device industry. This is quality system which satisfies the rigors of an independent, external audit and lays stress on additional safety, regulatory, and quality concerns specific to the medical device industry. This certification helps to create a systematic procedure using which the organizations monitor, measure, and analyze their processes and customer feedback. This certification gives you a Shorter Sales Cycle - less time is needed to earn your prospective customers' trust and confidence.


2. Overall performance improvement: Once you are certified QMS, it helps you to improve your products and processes. This certification is based on a uniform and widely accepted system of process control that gives you: ISO 13485 certification means higher customer satisfaction .The delivery of products that consistently meet customer requirements as well as quality, safety and legal requirements satisfies the customer. Striking improvement is noticed in stakeholder relationships - including staff, customers, and suppliers. ISO 13485 helps you to understand how statutory and regulatory requirements impact an organization and its customers. Thus it helps in legal compliance. Certification like ISO 13485 enhances the image of the company in the eyes of customers, employees, and shareholders and all. You need this certification to provide improved performance in areas such as increasing sales, timeliness in getting products to the global marketplace, reducing costs, decreasing number of errors, lessening wastage, better utilization of time and resources, and lowering product failures. Helps in improved risk management - this is done through greater consistency and traceability of products and using risk management techniques. ISO 13485 is a framework for implementation of actions (where necessary) which ensures achievement of planned result and maintaining effectiveness of those processes which are applicable to customer, quality and regulatory requirements. An ISO 13485 certification means ability of your organization to do business in the highly regulated sectors. It demonstrates your organization's commitment to quality, customers, and your willingness to work towards improving efficiency.


The standard has three parts:

  • Good manufacturing practices (GMP) or pre-requisite programs requirements
  • HACCP principles
  • Management system requirements

 

ISO 22001:2005:

applies to all organizations, regardless of their size, that impact the food chain. This includes ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers, package suppliers, service providers, farmers, food processors, and catering and retailing organizations.


Requirements include:

  • HACCP System
  • Management system requirements
  • Good manufacturing practices (GMP) or pre-requisite programs requirements

 

Benefits

  • Allows organization within the food chain to demonstrate their commitment to food safety.
  • Improved internal and external communication.
  • Ability to show control of known food hazards.
  • Continuous improvement of an organization's food safety management system.
  • Use of the internationally recognized NSF certification mark.
  • Enables an organization to align its food safety management system with other recognized management systems such as quality (ISO 9001) and environmental (ISO 14001)