ISO 22000 FOOD SAFETY MANAGEMENT STANDARD
For the food industry, ISO 22000 is the Food Safety Management Standard. The requirements of the Standard enable better management of food safety in the supply chain from farm to plate. Its development has been driven by Best Practice and long experience in safe food supply and consistency.
What is ISO 22000?
ISO 22000 Certification assists Organisations to safely supply food products. Additionally, ISO 22000 is a management Standard. Consequently, the management parts of the Standard help your organisation to achieve effective and consistent management of the business. By implementing ISO 22000 you can both achieve your business aims and improve your business. In short, with ISO 22000 you are able to supply safe food, manage and improve rather than reactively firefight.
ISO 22000 has developed from the ISO 9001 Management Standard. As a result, ISO 22000 incorporates the management components that help you organise your business. However, the Standard is specifically designed for food safety. As such, it is tailor made for the food industry. Of course, it is not the only way of improving Food Safety Quality.
ISO 22000 overcomes food safety problems
Over the last 100 years there have been a range of different initiatives in food safety. Regrettably, many have suffered from being…
- Internally driven by a few key personnel with little oversight, who have limited access to Best Practice or the implications on the supply chain and resulting food safety.
- Often oriented to particular Supermarkets, specific parts of the supply chain or types of food.
- Often linked to large volume activities, which justify major investment to achieve improvements. However, most organisations employ less than 20 people.
- Few agreed and documented methods covering all of the activities affecting Food Safety.
- Emphasis on operational improvements, with little consideration of external changes and Customer views.
- Lack of external Assessment to provide a reality check and incentive for maintaining and improving.
ISO 22000 addresses each of these limitations. That is because the Standard is specifically written for food safety. Additionally, there are pre-requisite requirements for different parts of the supply chain. As a result, it is more relevant for food safety than ISO 9001.
Commitment to a focused, systematic approach
To achieve ISO 22000 Certification, organisations must show commitment to a focused and systematic approach to providing safe food. An important aspect of that is to ensure your management decisions are fact-based. The records from your systems must demonstrate to your internal assessors and to the external Assessor that the following conditions are met…
- The general requirements of ISO22000 and the specific controls (the Prerequisite Programmes) must be in place for your part of the food chain.
- The organisation must identify and manage Food risks (HACCP).
- A focus on compliance to the regulatory and Customer food safety requirements.
- A process approach to food safety and working systems are in place and effective.
- Management commitment to quality.
- Involvement of trained, qualified and competent employees.
- The organisation must provide necessary resources and facilities.
- Mutually beneficial Supplier relationships are in place.
- The organisation must identify, investigate and correct problems to reduce recurrence.
- Important aspects of the business undergo monitoring, review and improvement.
- External independent ISO 22000 accredited Assessment and on-going Surveillance visits at least yearly
Additionally, any ISO 22000 Quality system needs to be flexible. ISO 22000 helps the business to succeed in today’s volatile and competitive environment. For instance, a hosted documentation system, like Charter4’s Per4ma Business Model, enables immediate online editing. Such a system ensures everyone is working from the latest Documents and Forms. That is the case whether they are working inside or externally to the Company.
Benefits of ISO 22000
Over many years the Standard has conferred a range of benefit on certified organisations Certified to ISO 22000. These benefits include…
- Confidence: ISO 22000 gives an externally checked confidence that your business is using a documented and managed system to safely supply your food products. At any point you can ensure that processes are in place for proper food safety.
- Compliance: The Standard helps fulfil Customer and compliance obligations as well as showing your commitment to improve the current processes.
- Operational: ISO 22000 provides a systematic and integrated approach to business processes. It provides a clear structure of safe operating processes, with an emphasis on continual improvement of working systems as well as reducing errors, duplication, complaints and problems.
- Reputation: A disaster spells high costs and lost customers. That is not to mention the lost reputation that can take years to build back. ISO 22000 can protect your reputation. Certification by trained independent Assessors provides a reality check on your processes and ensures that you maintain your systems and processes in a safe manner that meets the required standards.
- Competitive: Your certification will assure your staff, business partners, suppliers and customers of your commitment to food safety and continuous improvement. This enables you to compete effectively and, at the same time, to feel confident in the safety of your operations.
There are other benefits, one of which is peace of mind. However, for the business overall, ISO 22000 is a significant factor in meeting business and operational goals and, ultimately, profits.
The evidence is that ISO 22000 implementation is an investment. There are cost advantages and other improvements gained through a range of changes. These include better methods, improved productivity, reduction of waste and better management control. Achieving successful Assessment and Certification also assists in retaining existing Customers and in gaining new Customers. The processes and systems you put in place are there to improve your business. The results of such improvement is a return on your investment.
All requirements of this International Standard are generic. They apply to all organisations in the food chain, regardless of business type, size and location. So, for small companies, and large ones, this ISO Standard can add new opportunities, and new levels of management improvement and control.
Why You Need it
Most organisations face an increasingly volatile, complex, competitive and demanding business environment. Increasing regulation is an ever-greater burden. Competition was formally on a national scale, but now it is growing internationally and globally. All this adds to the pressures on your business. Additionally, organisations are under pressure to operate with reduced human resources and increased automation. Also, over the last 20 years, organisations have removed complete layers of management. This has resulted in key Managers being responsible for an increasing range of activities. For at least some of these activities, they will have had little or no formal training.
So, what is the good News?
ISO 22000 addresses this bad news and more. Any Organisation that is serious about Food Safety and improving the business needs to implement ISO 22000. The Good News is that there are great opportunities created by these increased business pressures for those who are prepared to work smarter. You can better manage your Food Safety risks and compliance obligations. Along the way you will see significant management improvements as you grow to better control your business. Fact-based decision-making, improving operational processes and building confidence in your Customers and your business will follow from systematic and consistent management enabled by ISO 22000.
In and industry under pressure? Get started now!
Lockdown significantly impacted the catering and supply business. As a result, the industry margins are tighter than before the lockdown, leaving all aspects of the business stretched. Consequently, the food businesses that survive this tough environment will be the ones that meet the issues head on. The industry needs to provide better customer care, more controlled processes and systems and which have a tighter, fact-based business. Installing management systems is a way to improve your future through investing in your business.
CHARTER4 have helped businesses to gain ISO Standards Certification for over 20 years. During that time we have found a specific formula that will be especially poigniant for the food industry struggling against a difficult trading environment. Our unique approach is to ensure that you, “Improve your business, rather than just comply”. Our experience, and focus, have helped many organisations to take their business to new levels. We believe you will want to see payback for your ISO investment. So, we will help you to improve your business to achieve goal as well as your ISO Certification.
We would be happy to provide more information about our unique approach. Simply press one of the buttons below.
UK Government Food Standards Agency
Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
- Improve, rather than just comply.
- Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
- Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
- Help defining your Best Practice.
- Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
- 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
- Help to get Government Grant (when available).
- Flexible support to complement your resources.
It was a challenge to keep ahead of the food safety regulations until we completed our ISO 22000 Certification. Now our organisation meets the regulatory and safety requirements, staff are happier, and we are prepared for contingencies.