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Importance of the latest ISO certification on food safety standards

21 July 2018

With safe, sustainable food production presenting one the biggest challenges for the food sector today, Bureau Veritas is urging businesses to look at the recently revised ISO 22000 certification regarding food safety standards, to ensure compliance is achieved ahead of the proposed deadline. 

Published in June 2018, ISO 22000:2018, Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain, has been introduced in order to help identify, prevent and reduce foodborne hazards in the food and feed chain. With the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) reporting that over 200 diseases are spread by the food chain, it is hoped that the publication of the revised standard will go some way to help identify and prevent potential risk factors.

It follows the announcement by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland, as part of their last annual report into food incidents, that they had investigated 2,265 foods, feed and environmental contamination incidents in the UK during the period 2016/17 alone. These included concerns about possible threats to the safety, quality or integrity of food and feed, as well as actual and confirmed threats.

ISO 22000:2018 will replace ISO 22000:2005 and all organisations in the food and feed industries will need to achieve the new standard by the transition deadline of June 2021, regardless of size. The revised standard focuses on a new approach to risk in the food industry that distinguishes between risks at an operational versus a business level. There will also be clarification of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, as well as the overall operation process, including the differences between key terms. To simplify the management process, the revised standard will see the adoption of the High-Level Structure (HLS) system that is common to all ISO management system standards, which is particularly useful for businesses using more than one management system standard.

Joy Franks, food market director - Europe Operating Group for Bureau Veritas, said: “The evolving complexities of the food trade have been exacerbated in recent years by the globalisation of the industry and the ongoing challenges of safe, sustainable food production remain critical within the sector. The publication of the revised ISO 22000 standard brings clarity for organisations already using the existing standard, with an overall aim of preventing and reducing foodborne hazards.

“Whilst the introduction of new ISO standards are expected as a reflection of the changing needs of the global food industry, it can still be confusing and potentially overwhelming for business to understand the depth and breadth of the changes and how it might impact their business. It’s therefore crucial that organisations try to get to grips with the revised standard as soon as possible, in order to ensure a smooth transition process ahead of the compliance deadline of June 2021.” Find out more about the standard at https://www.iso.org/files/live/sites/isoorg/files/store/en/PUB100430.pdf www.bureauveritas.co.uk


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