With the choices of Food Safety Management Systems Certification, how can your organization choose the right Food Safety Management System Standard?
The Global Food Safety Initiative, GFSI plays an important role in Food Safety Systems Certification. This organization has “benchmarked” existing food safety schemes. Once a system is “benchmarked” it means that certification to the scheme is accepted by organizations requiring a GFSI scheme. GFSI has now benchmarked schemes against the 6th Edition of its Guidance document. Recognized certification schemes as of August 2013 include:
Having a GFSI recognized certification can be important to a company that is selling to one of the major retailers that has chosen to require a GFSI scheme. Because this list includes such giants as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Tesco, Metro, Migros, Ahold, and Delhaize, the GFSI recognition is very important to many food companies.
Although it is not recognized by GFSI, ISO 22000 is also an important certification program to consider. The ISO 22000 standard can be applied to any company in the food chain, and is recognized worldwide. If your market does not require GFSI recognition, this is a standard to consider. It can also be very useful for companies if the scope of the other registrations does not apply to their industry segment. ISO 22000 is also an important piece of the benchmarked standard, FSSC 22000. ISO 22000 provides the requirements for the food safety management system for FSSC 22000.
The different schemes have similar contents, but the specifics of the requirements vary. The organization of the requirements and management of the certification program and audits are also different between the various standards.
The certification schemes are continually evolving, adding more businesses to their scope and issuing new revisions of documents.