HomeCertificationsISO 22000: 2018, the updated standard for food safety

ISO 22000: 2018, the updated standard for food safety

Thirteen years after the launch of its first edition, the ISO 22000 standard - 'Food safety management systems, Requirements for any organization in the food chain'- receives a first update. The news to follow.

ISO 22000, the food safety management model 

The international standard ISO 22000 for years it has been the reference scheme for guaranteeing food safety along the entire course of the agri-food chain. Its requirements can be applied, on a voluntary basis, by all organizations in the food and feed sectors. Regardless of size, processes, interlocutors and positions in the supply chain

It is therefore an umbrella rule, able to offer each operator - from primary agricultural production and import to final distribution, obviously including processing - a model to follow for the analysis and management of risks. In addition to a technical language consistent with the regulations, useful for sharing news among the operators of the supply chain.

The scheme of FSSC 22000 certification - developed on this basis, integrated by the PRP's (Pre-Requisite Programs) applicable - was therefore recognized as equivalent to the private schemes developed on the impulse of the GDO, such as IFS and BRC among the best known.

ISO 22000: 2018, the first revision

ISO 22000: 2018, published last June, represents the first revision of the management system of the food safety. Which is updated in the light of the most recent development of the quality management basic model, intervened with ISO 9001: 2015.  

Changes they can be understood, on the whole, as a call for greater attention to the external environment. And so:

Hls. The adoption of an ISO High Level Structure (HLS) is foreseen, in line with the latest updates of the various ISO systems. The High Level Structure is called to important reflections on context analysis, mapping of stakeholders, analysis of risks understood as threats and opportunities.

The method of Risk-Based Thinking, historically applied at the operational level (through the approach of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, HACCP), must therefore also be adopted at a strategic level, in a broader perspective that recalls the SWOT analysis (Strenght-Weakness-Opportunity-Threath),

PDCA. The logic of the two levels of risk, operational and strategic, corresponds to a double cycle Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). To the classic cycle, referring to the specific area of ​​food safety, is added that relating to the management system as a whole, which must consider all business processes,

Food safety policy. Greater emphasis is then given to the food safety policy, with explicit reference to continuous improvement and communication to staff. The centrality of individuals and their awareness is indeed underlined several times by ISO 9001: 2015,

Work environment. The work environment in turn receives renewed attention and evaluation. To this end, the organization will have to consider social and psychological factors, as well as physical ones. Underestimating these aspects can expose the company to threats that can escalate into voluntary adulteration of food (Food Tampering).

Certified organizations according to the ISO 22000: 2005 standard they will have to update their certificate with respect to ISO 22000: 2018 within three years from its publication date, i.e. by 19.6.21.

Dario Dongo

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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