ISO 22000 is a standard on food safety management that can be used by any organization in the production, processing and packaging of food.
ISO 22000 is based on the Quality Management System approach and includes the HACCP and Good Manufacturing Principles.
Companies seeking ISO 22000 certification must create a Food Safety Management System that must have the following elements:
First, the resources needed to create and maintain the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) must be provided. Next, the system must be designed and documented.
The food safety policy and objectives must be clearly stated and all procedures and work instructions must be in written form. To control these procedures, a document control system must be created. The documents have to be current to be effective.
The records necessary for the system must be identified. It will also have to be decided how long the records will be maintained. Then, a system for collecting and storing the records must be created, so that they are easily accessible, but safe at the same time.
A food safety team must be created, which must possess the skills to create and maintain the FSMS.
Next, communication channels must be created so that issues related to food safety are available across the food chain. There must be a process of easy communication with suppliers, contractors, regulatory agencies and customers on the safety concerns of products that are relevant to other organizations in the food chain.
The system must be reviewed periodically. FSMS-related information must be assessed to understand the actions that need to be taken to solve problems and improve the system.
Next, the ‘Realisation Processes’ must be planned well. These processes include food production and delivery of services. Prerequisite programs, PRP, must be established to maintain sanitary conditions for the realization processes.
PRPs can be created by finding out the products that are part of ISO 22000 FSMS and identifying and implementing the necessary regulations. These can be related to cleaning, hygiene of personnel, equipment maintenance, employee training etc.
A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan (HACCP) must be created by the food safety plan for every product and process. The plan has to start with identifying the characteristics of products, describing their use, creating flow charts and describing the steps of processes.
This information can be used to figure out expected hazards, their acceptable levels and prepare measures to control them. There must be complete documentation of the hazard-control plans.
A verification plan must be created. This will check if PRPs are being implemented, hazard analysis inputs are updated, PRPs and HACCP plan are implemented and the hazard levels are under control.
Next, a product traceability system must be established. This should allow for effective recalls, if needed. It must also make control of non-conforming products possible. The process of controlling affected products when control limits are breached must be documented. This should include actions to track and eliminate the causes of non-conformity, as well as blocking the non-conforming product from the food chain.
After the system is up and running, it must be assessed regularly via in-house audits and evaluation by the food safety team.