Friday, 26 April 2013


The last few years have provided ample evidence that control of food safety is critical. Recent media reports have clearly documented supply chain shortcomings that have threatened consumers’ health and safety. These ongoing problems and the need for consumer safety cry out for additional tools to dramatically reduce or eliminate risks.

Early Food Safety 

Food safety rules have a long history. Evidence clearly shows that governments and governing authorities were concerned with protecting consumers from unsafe foods from the earliest times. In ancient Athens, beer and wines were inspected for purity. 

In the United States, the concern over food safety began in earnest in the late 1800s but didn’t become law until 1906 with the formation of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Over time, preventive approaches were increasingly adapted for food safety, culminating in 1995 with the U.S. publication of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) requirements and their subsequent evolution into ISO 22000. 

ISO 22000

ISO 22000 is an international standard intended to be used by organizations within the food chain. It contains traditional quality assurance preventive measures plus preventive food-safety measures. The purpose of ISO 22000 is to provide a practical approach to ensure the reduction and elimination of food safety risks as a means to protect consumers. ISO 22000 is intended to help organizations: 
  • Embedding and improve the internal processes needed to provide consistently safe food.
  • Providing 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.
  • Providing 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.
  • Providing 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.
  • Ensuring 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: 
  • Methods and practices related to planning and realization of safe foods.
  • Methods and practices for validation, verification, and improvement of the food safety management system.


Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a system that helps food business operators look at how they handle food and introduces procedures to make sure the food produced is safe to eat.

As part of routine inspections, the enforcement officer will check that the business has an appropriate HACCP-based food safety management system in place.

Guidance: The Food Standards Agency has developed a range of food safety management packs for different sectors of the food industry to help food business operators manage their food safety management procedures: 
  • Safer food, better business (SFBB) helps small food businesses and childminders put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations. 
  • CookSafe is the FSA in Scotland’s food safety management system to help caterers comply with legal requirements. 
  • RetailSafe, also developed by the FSA in Scotland, assists retailers handling unwrapped high-risk foods to comply with legal requirements. 
  • Safe Catering is FSA Northern Ireland's food safety management guide to help catering businesses produce a food safety management plan based on HACCP principles and to keep records appropriate to their business. 
  • HACCP in meat plants contains a short guide to completing a HACCP plan, information on training, a meat plant HACCP manual and CD ROM, model documents and a food safety management diary. 
  • Wild Game Guide is for those producing wild game meat for human consumption, either at an approved game handling establishment or under an exemption allowed by the Food Hygiene Regulations. It includes the Wild Game HACCP Plan.

To be continued...

Sources: The U.S. FDA, UK Food Standards Agency, Quality Digest, ISO.



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Safety Statement

Hector Fresneda said...

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ISO 22000 Consultant said...

The information provided here is excellent and given me an idea about ISO 22000 for and how it helped in developing food safety management system in any organizations.

ISO Certification Services said...

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ISO Certification Services said...

Excellent post thank you for sharing. Here at ISO Certification Services we offer set-up assistance and on-going support with ISO Certification and look forward to reading future posts.

Barton Wilson said...

Thanks for providing this comprehensive detail on ISO 22000. You are correct in pointing out the benefits of such certification, like “providing confidence to customers and other stakeholders,” as well as “ensuring adequate control at all stages of the food supply chain.” As a general derivative of ISO 9001, ISO 22000 is suitable for any organization, whether small or large. However, I believe only large companies with enough resources can benefit from such certification.

Barton Wilson @

ISO 22000 haccp said...

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ISO 22000 Consultant said...

That's a really great post describes all the important points which are very useful to get ISO 22000 food certification.