The Revision of ISO 22000 on Food Safety Management Moves Ahead

The international body is rewriting the standards for food safety management systems, with publication expected summer 2018.

By Sandrine Tranchard of ISO

Revision is ongoing for ISO 22000 on food safety management systems, which has reached the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage. The revised standard will incorporate a new core structure as well as recognized key elements to ensure food safety at every step of the food chain.

The ISO 22000 revision aims to consolidate the most recent issues surrounding food safety to suit the current landscape of the food sector. It is a very comprehensive process and the working group revising the standard has covered several extensive concepts.

The experts met three times in 2016 and processed 1,800 comments from a variety of global stakeholders representing a broad range of positions. Now, their main task is to translate the revised concepts included in the standard and communicate these to the users in a clear and concise manner that makes ISO 22000 easier to understand and implement for organizations of all sizes, in every aspect of the food chain.

Since the first publication of ISO 22000 in 2005, users along the supply chain have been facing new food safety challenges – spurring a need for the standard to be revised.

It is normal process for an ISO standard to be revised. In fact, every five years standards are reviewed to determine whether a revision is necessary, to ensure that the standards remain as relevant and useful to businesses as possible.

The revision of the standard is carried out by specialists from over 30 countries with expertise in establishing, implementing and auditing food safety management systems.

The new version of ISO 22000 will contain a number of minor alterations that have been introduced to increase the readability and clarity of the standard, as well as some substantial changes that are more structural in nature. The main highlights are:

  • The new version will adopt ISO’s new High-Level Structure (HLS), which is the common framework for all management systems standards. This common structure makes it easier for businesses to integrate more than one management system into their processes at a given time.
  • The revised standard will provide a new understanding of the notion of “risk.” Risk is a vital concept for food businesses and the standard will distinguish between risk at the operational level (through the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point approach, or HACCP) and risk at the strategic level of the management system (business risk) with its ability to embrace opportunities in order to reach a business’ specific goals.
  • The standard will clarify the distinction between two Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles. The first applies to the management system as a whole while the second, embedded within it, addresses the operations described in Clause 8, which simultaneously covers the principles of HACCP defined by the Codex Alimentarius.

The revised version of ISO 22000 is expected to be published by June 2018.

For more information on the DIS stage and how you can contribute to the standard’s development, contact your ISO member.

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