In the contemporary food sector, the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 has emerged as a crucial standard. The FSSC certification confirms that organisations have implemented effective food safety management systems as regulatory obligations and food safety concerns grow.
Understanding the relevance of FSSC certification is essential for businesses to assure the safety and quality of their food products, promoting consumer trust and confidence with an emphasis on risk management and continuous improvement.
FSSC, or Food Safety System Certification, is a globally recognised certification scheme for food safety management systems. It provides a framework for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of their food products throughout the entire supply chain.
FSSC certification encompasses implementing robust food safety management systems, compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and adherence to industry best practices. FSSC aims to enhance credibility, build trust with consumers and stakeholders, and give companies a competitive edge in the marketplace.
To obtain FSSC 22000 certification, organisations must follow a systematic process that involves several steps. While the exact details may vary depending on the certification body and specific circumstances, here is a general overview of the process.
Understand the requirements and criteria outlined in the FSSC 22000 standard. This will help you assess your current food safety management system and identify any gaps that need to be addressed.
Establish and document a comprehensive food safety management system that aligns with the FSSC 22000 requirements. This includes developing prerequisite programs, conducting hazard analysis, implementing control measures, and setting food safety objectives.
Conduct internal audits to evaluate the effectiveness and compliance of your food safety management system. This step helps identify areas for improvement and corrective actions to be taken.
Choose an accredited certification body or consultancy that is authorised to conduct FSSC 22000 assessments. Ensure they have the necessary expertise and experience in your industry sector.
The certification body will audit your organisation’s food safety management system on-site. This audit will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of your system in meeting the FSSC 22000 requirements. It typically includes a review of documentation, interviews with key personnel, and observations of processes.
If any non-conformities or areas for improvement are identified during the audit, you must address them and implement corrective actions within a specified timeframe.
Based on the audit findings and the effectiveness of the corrective actions, the certification body will decide on the certification.
If your organisation meets all the requirements, the certification body will issue the FSSC 22000 certificate, confirming your compliance with the standard.
To maintain certification, the certification body will conduct periodic surveillance audits to ensure ongoing compliance with FSSC 22000. These audits are typically conducted annually.
FSSC 22000 and ISO 22000 are both food safety management systems, but they have some differences. It’s important to note that ISO 22000 provides a solid foundation for food safety management systems, and organisations may choose to implement it without seeking FSSC 22000 certification. However, for organisations in the food sector looking for a more comprehensive and industry-specific certification, FSSC 22000 offers a recognised and rigorous framework.
Here are the key distinctions.
|Certification scheme for food safety management systems.
|International standard for food safety management systems.
|Incorporates ISO 22000 as its foundation and adds additional requirements.
|Requires implementation of industry-specific prerequisite programs (e.g., ISO/TS 22002-1 for food manufacturing or PAS 223 for food packaging).
|Does not have specific prerequisite program requirements.
|Compliance with GFSI Requirements
|FSSC 22000 is recognised and supported by the Global Food Safety Initiative GFSI), which sets global food safety requirements.
|ISO 22000 does not require compliance with GFSI requirements, although it is recognised by GFSI.
|Includes an additional review of the prerequisite programs during the audit process specific to the food sector.
|Follows a standard certification process, including documentation review, on-site audits, and verification of compliance with ISO 22000 requirements.
|Recognised internationally and accepted by many global retailers and suppliers.
|Internationally recognised and accepted as a standard for food safety management systems.
|Applicable to organisations involved in food manufacturing, processing, packaging, and storage.
|Applicable to all organisations in the food chain, regardless of their size or complexity.
In conclusion, FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) is a cornerstone in ensuring safe food practices and upholding the highest standards within the food industry. By implementing rigorous food safety management systems, meeting industry-specific requirements, and obtaining FSSC certification, organisations demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the safety and quality of their food products.
Moreover, alongside certifications like the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), FSSC reinforces a comprehensive approach to food safety. With FSSC and other industry standards in place, we can move ahead with assurance, knowing that safe food practices are diligently followed, consumers are protected, and the integrity of our global food systems is upheld.
Through this collective commitment, we can ensure a positive and secure future for food safety, fostering trust and delivering safe, high-quality food to people worldwide.