QMI Brief Newsletter

6/25/2006
ISO 22000 Starts Cooking

It’s here, and the food industry is taking notice!

Food

ISO 22000 was launched in the fall of 2005 as the only truly global food safety management system standard. This international standard requires an organization to demonstrate its ability to manage food safety hazards and provide safe products that meet relevant regulations and the requirements of its customers.

ISO 22000 goes beyond the prevalent “condition” audits of the past, where a snapshot look at the physical conditions and past paperwork was often all that was required. An ISO 22200 based food safety management system audit looks at the organization as a whole, and assesses its ability to satisfy its customers’ needs.

According to QMI’s Food Safety Development Manager, John Kukoly, “This is a revolution in food safety, because it applies to each and every aspect of the food chain, covering not just food manufacturers, but also the producers of ingredients, equipment, cleaning agents, packagers, transporters, distributors and retailers." Kukoly adds that it requires the involvement and resources of the entire company to plan, design and implement an effective food safety management system that will incorporate the use of safety measures, as well as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points methodology to ensure the delivery of safe food products to the consumer.

For those not familiar with the ISO standards, there is comfort in knowing that they don’t mean throwing out all of the existing manuals and systems. Any existing systems and regulations can be incorporated within a structured Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The ISO 22000 framework will help to ensure that the required resources are in place, and that processes are planned and implemented to produce safe products, meet customer requirements and achieve the organization’s food safety policies and objectives.

Key components

The ISO 22000 FSMS is based on the ISO 9001:2000 quality management systems model, and the requirements have been customized to address the specific needs of the food industry. Some of the key components of ISO 22000 are summarized below.

Management responsibility – This includes the policy, objectives, the food safety team, communication, emergency situations, defining organizational responsibility and authority, the provision of resources and review of the FSMS. The standard is quite specific on the requirements for communication, both external and internal, and includes the need for documented procedures for recalls and related notifications.

Product and process data – This requires information to be documented on all the materials and processes involved in producing the products, flow diagrams showing the sequence and interaction of all steps, descriptions of the steps, and other information which will provide the basis for the hazard analysis.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plans (HACCP) – Built right into the ISO 22000 standard is the need and reinforcement of the HACCP system. Having a functional HACCP and prerequisite program (called ‘Supportive Safety Measures’ in ISO 22000) is a cornerstone of an effective ISO 22000 based FSMS.

Measurement, analysis and updating the FSMS – This includes planning and implementing of all monitoring, measurement, inspection, verification and related activities, including verification of the Critical Control Point (CCP) plans and Supportive Safety Measure (SSM) plans, as well as internal audits to confirm that the FSMS is effectively implemented.The requirements of ISO 22000 can be incorporated into any food safety management system, and can be applied at any stage or parts of the food chain. It is not limited to feed producers, farmers, food producers, retailers etc., and includes suppliers of packaging materials, equipment, cleaning service providers and others. It places the onus on the management of the business to fully understand and deliver the needs of their customers.

The demand for ISO 22000 is widespread across the food chain, and there are a surprising number of interested parties that are not the typical food processor. As producers tighten requirements, their suppliers are increasingly drawn into the system. Ingredient suppliers, packaging suppliers, and the service providers to the food industry are keen to show that they support food safety, and want to do all they can to improve confidence in the integrity of their processes and keep their customers happy. And as the consuming public is bombarded with information about the safety of the foods they purchase, retailers see ISO 22000 as a means of demonstrating due diligence and controlling risk.

Being the final link in the food supply chain, retailers sometimes suffer the most direct consequences of bad publicity, and need to have a truly effective system in place that will give their customers confidence in the safety of the products they buy.

Learn More

To find out how your company can benefit from an ISO 22000 food safety management system or other QMI registration services, please contact John Kukoly at (800) 465-3717.

QMI also offers comprehensive training programs to support implementation of ISO 22000. Available courses include:

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