Everyone needs to eat. In fact, the series of processes that guide food from production to consumption comprises a multi-trillion dollar global industry. But, with globalization reaching new heights of interconnectivity and humanity’s swelling population, it is becoming increasingly difficult to feed the billions of hungry mouths.
What is ISO 22000:2018? ISO 22000:2018 – Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain was published to help confront the heap of problems present with the food chain. It revises and supersedes the 2005 edition of the same standard, as well as its technical corrigendum from 2006. Like its predecessor, ISO 22000:2018 specifies the general guidelines for a food management safety system (FSMS). This type of system can enable an organization either directly or indirectly involved in the food chain to plan, implement, operate, maintain, and update a FSMS providing safe products and services. In assuring the organization’s conformance to its stated food policy, this international standard helps in evaluating and assessing mutually agreed customer safety requirements and demonstrating conformity with customers and any other interested parties. Adherence to the guidelines laid out in ISO 22000:2018 can help organizations demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements. It can also better position organizations towards seeking certification or registration of its FSMS by an external organization. Similarly, it is useful in making a self-assessment or self-declaration of conformity. Harmonization With ISO Management System Standards One of the primary changes made to this revision is the adoption of ISO’s shared High-Level Structure (HLS). Over the past several years, HLS has become the common framework for management system standards, and its inclusion makes it easier for organizations to integrate more than one system into their processes at a single time, enhancing compliance, safety, and efficiency. For example, ISO 22000:2018 users can easily be entirely compliant with ISO 9001:2015.
ISO 22000 and Risk Management In addition, much like other ISO management system standards, ISO 22000:2018 places a heavy focus on risk and the means in which organizations can tackle the daunting and seemingly overwhelming force. However, adjustments made to the international standard for better accommodating risk surround concerns with a FSMS and its processes.
Food safety encompasses the prevention, elimination, and control of foodborne hazards, from the site of production to the point of consumption. These hazards, generally in the form of diseases, can jeopardize an entire food chain even when present in just a single step. This can leave people unfed. Therefore, managing risk is crucial to food business. As such, a major change to ISO 22000:2018 is its new approach to risk, in that risk is now distinguished between the operational level and the strategic level. At the strategic level of the management system (business risk), organizations can embrace opportunities in order to reach a business’s specific goals. At the operational level, users can use the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach.
Other Changes to ISO 22000:2018 ISO 22000:2018 also clarifies the distinction between two Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles included in the international document. The initial cycle applies to the management system as a whole, while the second PDCA cycle addresses the operations found in Clause 8, simultaneously covering the principles of HACCP defined by the Codex Alimentarius. In fact, another notable alteration to this international standard is the addition of strong links to the Codex Alimentarius, a United Nations food group that develops food safety guidelines for governments. This change really helps to bring ISO 22000:2018 up-to-date with market needs. Since ISO 22000 is already recognized globally, these links may help various governments throughout the world to refer to ISO 22000:2018 in government inspections and as national requirements. In addition to these substantial revisions, ISO 22000:2018 has been changed to offer a dynamic control of food safety hazards combining interactive communication, systems management, Prerequisite Programs (PRPs), and the principles of HACCP. The standard also clearly describes the differences between these key operation process elements.