There have been an abundance of food safety standards throughout the world, but there are also variations between standards, their implementation and their auditing. With the success that the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) has had with harmonization of standards, it was logical that they be the ones to take on this issue through the development of an ISO Food Safety Standard. The standard, ISO 22000 was released in 2005. Since its release it has been successfully implemented in hundreds of companies around the world. The ISO 22000 Standard can be applied to any organization in the food chain, from the farm to the food packaging producer.
However, the Global Food Safety Initiative is another organization playing an important role in Food Safety Systems. 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. The current list of GFSI schemes includes FSSC 22000, SQF, BRC and others. It does not include ISO 22000.
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.
The question then, was could ISO 22000 be added to the list of GFSI standards? After a review of the requirements of the standard, it was determined that for the food manufacturers, GFSI would like to see more specific Prerequisite Program Requirements (PRPs). This led to the development of a standard, the PAS 220, specifying detailed PRP requirements for manufactures in the food industry. This document is now obsolete, and replaced by several different ISO Technical Specifications including ISO/TS 22002-1 and ISO/TS 22002-4. The different technical specifications apply to different segments of the food industry.
ISO/TS 22002-1: Food Processing ISO/TS 22002-3: Farming ISO/TS 22002-4 Food Packaging Manufacturing
The combination of the ISO 22000 standard, the ISO/TS 22002 and the FSSC 22000 “Part 1: Requirements for Organizations that Require Certification” make up the requirements for the GFSI benchmarked registration scheme “FSSC 22000”. To register, a company will implement the requirements of ISO 22000, the additional requirements for FSSC 22000 found in Part 1 and the PRP programs found in the appropriate ISO/TS 22002 document. FSSC 22000 can be applied to food processing, food packaging material manufacturing, and some farming. Choosing FSSC 22000 will give you a management system certification that is recognized by GFSI.