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    Food Safety System Certification
    (FSSC 22000)

    The Food Safety System Certification 22000  commonly known as FSSC 22000 is a strict scheme of Food safety certification. It is developed through dialogue with many global stakeholders. This scheme uses international and independent standards such as ISO 22000, ISO 9001, ISO/TS 22003, and technical specifications for sector-specific Pre-Requisite Programs (PRPs), such as ISO/TS 22002-1.

    FSSC is a management system certification scheme unlike IFS, BRC and SQF which are process/product certification schemes, thus there is a significant difference in the audit approach.

    Global Food Safety Initiative

    The Global Food Safety Initiative is a Coalition of Action from The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), bringing together 41 retailers and manufacturers from across the CGF membership and an extended food safety community, to oversee food safety standards for businesses, and help provide access to safe food for people everywhere. GFSI does not provide food safety certification. It recognises a number of certification programmes that meet the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.

    FSSC 22000 Certification meets GFSI requirements. GFSI recognition demonstrates that FSSC certification meets the highest standards globally. 

    GFSI benchmarks the various food safety standards against a basic set of criteria, and standards meeting these criteria are recognized. Many large retailers and manufacturers want their suppliers to be certified by a GFSI recognized scheme and FSSC 22000 is one of them.

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    The two certifications are very similar and food focused certification. The FSSC 22000 scheme uses ISO 22000 as a requirement for the management system. However,  FSSC 22000 contains other requirements such as PRP.

    The main difference between the two certifications is that the FSSC 22000 scheme is more stringently monitored and Certification Bodies are held more accountable for work they do. The GFSI recognition of FSSC 22000 demonstrates this commitment from FSSC 22000.

    A Food Safety Management Systems for FSSC 22000 requires organisations to develop, implement and maintain all the requirements of all the three components and get audited by a certifying body (CB).

      • The ISO 22000:2018 standard laid down requirements for the FSMS for any organisation in food chain;
      • The mandatory application of sector specific PRP requirements specified in the ISO/TS 22002-x series and/or the BSI/PAS 221 standards;
      • The additional requirements laid down in the part 2 (requirements of organisations to be audited) of FSSC scheme (version 5.1| November 2020).
    • The purchaser in the food supply chain mandates a robust and effective FSMS, the FSSC 22000 certified organization can demonstrate that it is in place.
    • Support to this scheme by the European Food and Drinks Association (CIAA) and the American Groceries Manufacturing Association (GMA), in addition to recognition by GFSI, opens food and associated business to global market.

    This scheme uses the international and independent standards of ISO 22000, technical specifications for sector PRPs, and additional scheme requirements. There are 3 components of FSSC 22000:

    • ISO 22000 – Provides common framework across supply chain to manage requirements, communication and control improvement of the system.
    • PRPs – Sector specific pre-requisite programs (ISO/TS 22002/BSI PAS).
    • FSSC 22000 – Adds specific requirements to ensure consistency, integrity, governance and management of the scheme.

    The documented information required include

      • food safety policy
      • hazard control plan
      • FSMS or management manual
      • procedures & forms
      • monitoring food safety objectives and targets
      • food defence plan
      • food fraud vulnerability plan
      • emergency plan
      • allergen management plan
      • records for PRP, OPRP & CCP monitoring, verification and updating
      • registers for non-conformances and corrective action
      • records of internal audit and management review

    The certification process involves the following steps:

    • A preliminary self-assessment by the organization against the requirements of the FSSC 22000 scheme;
    • Based on the self-assessment, the organization to address nonconformities;
    • Select a certification body accredited against ISO/IEC 17021 & ISO 22003 and the relevant Accreditation Body must be signatory with IAF/MLA;
    • CB conduct initial certification audit in two stages;
    • Based on findings of audit, an audit report is prepared by the audit team;
    • Organization to resolve nonconformities, if any raised by the audit team;
    • CB takes decision for issuance of FSSC 22000 certification with a validity of three years;
    • Continuity of certification depends on satisfactory performance during surveillance audits and recertification audit.

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      FSSC 22000 Certification