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Comparative Food Safety Standards: Differences Between FSSC 22000 and ISO 22000



ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 Comparison
ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 Comparison

ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000

In international standards governing food safety, ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 emerge as two pivotal frameworks, each contributing significantly to the assurance of food safety across the global supply chain. While sharing a common thread in their commitment to upholding the integrity and safety of food products, these certification schemes diverge in crucial aspects that set them apart. As we delve into the intricacies of these standards, it becomes apparent that their subtle nuances bear implications for industries engaged in producing, processing, and distributing food. What nuances distinguish ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000, and how do these distinctions influence their respective roles in ensuring the delivery of safe and superior-quality food items? Let's unravel the intricacies that shape their unique contributions to food safety.


Scope:

  • ISO 22000: ISO 22000 is a globally recognised standard for food safety in all food chain links. It covers a broad scope, including companies in the primary sector, production, transport, retail, packaging, and cleaning agent production.

  • FSSC 22000: FSSC 22000 has a more limited scope, covering agriculture, food processing, perishable animal products, feed production, and manufacturing materials for food packaging. It focuses on specific sectors and includes a sector-specific Pre-Requisite Program (PRP).

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Recognition:

  • ISO 22000: ISO 22000 is not recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

  • FSSC 22000: FSSC 22000 is recognised by GFSI, demonstrating compliance with the highest global food safety standards and gaining international acceptance in the food industry.

Additional Requirements:

Both standards are structured similarly, with FSSC 22000 using ISO 22000 as a foundation.

FSSC 22000: Includes additional requirements such as the Pre-Requisite Program (PRP), which consists of universal procedures controlling operating conditions in food factories and specific standards for Food Fraud and Food Defense (bioterrorism). Version 6 introduces changes such as the reorganisation of Food Chain Categories, expanded coverage to include Trading and Brokering (FII) while removing Farming and FSSC 22000-Quality, integration of food safety and quality culture requirements, new requirements on quality control, food loss, and waste management, and strengthened requirements in environmental monitoring.


Certification Benefits:

  • ISO 22000: Ensures compliance with legislation, regulations, and customer requirements. It emphasises continuous improvement of processes and applies to various industries beyond food.

  • FSSC 22000: Besides ensuring food safety, it addresses food fraud and external threats. Its certification benefits include compliance with relevant laws, regulations, customer requirements, continuous process improvement, and GFSI recognition.

Ownership and Maintenance:

  • ISO 22000: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) owns and maintains the scheme.

  • FSSC 22000: The scheme is owned and maintained by an independent foundation.


Latest Version:

  • FSSC 22000 releasing its latest version (version 6) on March 31, 2023. The transition period allows organisations to prepare for the new version, including adding QR codes on FSSC 22000 certificates for improved traceability. Audits for Version 6 will commence on April 1, 2024. All organisations must complete the Version 6 update audit before March 31, 2025.

  • The latest version of ISO 22000 was released in June 2018, and the standard was last reviewed and confirmed in 2023, maintaining its current status.

 

Conclusion

Exploring ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 illuminates the nuanced landscape of international standards dedicated to ensuring the safety of our food supply. While both standards share a foundational commitment to upholding the highest levels of food safety, their divergent paths regarding scope, recognition, and additional requirements mark them as distinctive entities in certification schemes. ISO 22000, with its comprehensive and globally acknowledged approach, addresses a broad spectrum of industries beyond food. On the other hand, FSSC 22000, boasting GFSI recognition and sector-specific enhancements, carves a niche in the food industry with a tailored focus on key elements like Food Fraud and Food Defense. As organisations navigate the landscape of food safety certifications, understanding these differences becomes paramount in making informed choices that comply with regulations and contribute to improving processes and delivering safe and reliable food products to consumers worldwide.


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