ISO 22000

Manage food safety throughout the food chain


The proliferation of the food safety standards in the global market (as different countries and organizations in the food sector often use their own protocols) led the ISO to harmonize various existing national and industry certification schemes under one internationally recognized standard – ISO22000.

ISO 22000 was published in 2005 to cover all the processes along the food chain that deal directly or indirectly with the end product being consumed. It is applicable to all organizations directly or indirectly involved in the food value chain and not just the food producers and manufacturers. This includes producers of packaging materials, ingredients, additives, detergents, suppliers of cleaning services, pest control. It allows you to assess and demonstrate conformity of the product in relation to food safety and to demonstrate control of food safety hazards

The standard was revised on 2018

The new version of the standard ISO 22000:2018 encompasses the latest trends and food safety requirements and a response to the rising global challenges facing the food industry. It will also help address the growing need to ensure we can trust current food security systems and that they are sustainable.

ISO 22000:2018 includes improvements to definitions, including those that align with Codex Alimentarius. It also provides a new understanding of the concept of risk, distinguishing between risk at the operational level and the strategic level of a management system.

The major proposed changes to the standard include modifications to its structure as well as clarifying key concepts such as:

  • The new version follows the framework of the High-Level Structure (HLS) common to all the ISO management systems standards.
  • ISO 22000:2018 also clarifies the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle by having two separate cycles in the standard working together. The two PDCA circles operate one inside the other – one covering the management system and the other, within it, the operations, which simultaneously cover the principles of HACCP defined by Codex.
  • the standard now includes a different approach to understanding risk.
  • There is a clear description of the differences between key terms such as: Critical Control Points (CCPs), Operational Prerequisite Programmes (OPRPs) and Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs).

More information about the changes can be found here


The main elements of the standard are:

System management through the control of the interaction between the system’s elements that guarantees efficiency and the effectiveness of the system

Interactive communication with suppliers, customers, consumers and public authorities

Prerequisite programmes: Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygiene Practices, Good Agricultural Practices, are the pillars on which a HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) system is based

HACCP principles as the basic methodology to plan safe production processes which are appropriate for every individual company

Verification and Validation through the suitable records keeping procedures

ISO 22000 specifies requirements to enable an organization:

  • to plan, implement, operate, maintain and update a food safety management system aimed at providing products that, according to their intended use, are safe for the consumer,
  • to demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements,
  • to evaluate and assess customer requirements and demonstrate conformity with those mutually agreed customer requirements that relate to food safety, in order to enhance customer satisfaction,
  • to effectively communicate food safety issues to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain,
  • to ensure that the organization conforms to its stated food safety policy,
  • to demonstrate such conformity to relevant interested parties,


The standard adds value because it :

  • is internationally accepted
  • is a publicly available scheme, that can be used by all
  • integrates and harmonizes various existing national and industry-based certification schemes
  • is aligned and can be integrated with other management systems such as quality, environmental and safety management systems and it can also incorporate retailers’ standards
  • Increases transparency throughout the food supply chain


ISO 22000 requires that you design and document a Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The process described in ISO 22000 includes the following steps:

  • Having an overall Food Safety Policy for your organization, developed by top management and setting objectives that will drive your organizations efforts to comply with this policy.
  • Planning and designing a management system and documenting the system.
  • Maintaining records of the performance of the system.
  • Establishing a group of qualified individuals to make up a Food Safety Team.
  • Defining communication procedures to ensure effective communication with important contacts outside the company (regulatory, customers, suppliers and others) and for effective internal communication.
  • Having an emergency plan
  • Holding management review meetings to evaluate the performance of the FSMS
  • Providing adequate resources for the effective operation of the FSMS including appropriately trained and qualified personnel, sufficient infrastructure and appropriate work environment to ensure food safety
  • Following HACCP principles
  • Establishing a traceability system for identification of product
  • Establishing a corrective action system and control of nonconforming product
  • Maintaining a documented procedure for handling withdrawal of product
  • Controlling monitoring and measuring devices
  • Establishing and maintaining and internal audit program
  • Continually updating and improving the FSMS


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