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    Food Safety Management System -
    ISO 22000

    ISO 22000 is an internationally recognized standard that focuses on  food safety management and HACCP principles and their application to food safety from farm to fork. A Management system which is  oriented towards food safety and hygiene is made and improved continuously as per  ISO 22000 standard.

    The processes and procedures that a business develops, implements and improves through ISO 22000 will help them to identify, monitor, reduce and prevent food safety hazards at all stages of the food processing.

    ISO 22000 Elements

    ISO 22000 requires you to build a Food Safety Management System. This implies that you will need a documented system that is fully implemented throughout your facility. The said system based on ISO 22000 should cover the following elements:

    • Interactive communication across the organization

    • System management that includes documentation

    • Prerequisite programs that ensure a clean and sanitary environment

    • HACCP principles, which help identify, prevent and remove food safety hazards

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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.

    While seeking compliance with ISO 22000, organizations must establish pre-requisite programs with the aim of reducing the likelihood of contamination. While ISO does identify certain areas and programs that organizations must consider, it doesn’t define the specific requirements of each program. Instead, each organization has to develop its own programs based on its needs.

    However, ISO does provide some guidance on how to develop these pre-requisite programs through each one of the technical specification, such as ISO/TS 22002-1, Pre-requisite programs on food safety — Part 1: Food Manufacturing. 

    It is essential to know ISO/TS 22002-1 applies only to food manufacturers and not all organizations across the entirety of the food chain. Some of the areas ISO 22000 identifies for organizations to consider when developing their prerequisite programs include:

      • Pest control

      • Food defense, biovigilance and bioterrorism

      • The construction and layout of buildings

      • Prevention of cross-contamination

      • Equipment suitability, cleaning and maintenance

      • Employee facilities and personal hygiene

      • Management of purchased material

      • The layout of the premises and workspace

      • Cleaning and sanitizing procedures

      • Product information

      • Utilities, including energy, water and air

      • Warehousing

      • Waste disposal

      • Procedures for product recall

    ISO 22000 applies to any organization that is part of or comes in contact with the food industry or food chain, regardless of the size of the organization or where it falls along the food chain.

    These organizations may be food, ingredient and additive manufacturers, feed producers, organizations involved in the transport or storage of food or those that sub-contract to food related companies. Organizations that are related to the food industry but aren’t directly part of it can also use ISO 22000 standard, such as those that produce equipment, packaging materials or cleaning agents that are used in the food industry.

    A management system, as described in ISO 22000, establishes processes applicable across the entire organization, for managing food safety. Some of the processes an organization may consider including in their documented system are:

    • An overall food safety policy

    • Targets that will drive the company’s efforts to comply with its policy

    • Planning, designing and documenting a management system

    • Creating a food safety team of qualified individuals and assigning responsibilities

    • Establishing communication procedures for internal communication and communication with parties outside the company, such as customers, suppliers and regulatory bodies

    • An emergency plan

    • A plan for regularly evaluating the performance of the FSMS

    • A strategy for providing sufficient resources to enable the operation of the FSMS, including trained and qualified personnel, infrastructure and an appropriate work environment

    • A plan for following principles of HACCP

    • A system to enhance the traceability and identification of products

    • A system for controlling nonconformities in products

    • A documented procedure for the withdrawal of products

    • An internal audit program

    • A plan for continually improving the FSMS

    • Prerequisite programs

    While ISO 22000 directly relates to improvement in perception in the minds of customer, it also brings the following benefits to be certified by a good certification body with experienced auditors.

    • Improve overall consistency in Food quality
    • Determine risks in Food chain and monitor the risks
    • Strengthen controls on identified risks
    • Improve confidence of customers
    • Improved communications with suppliers
    • Better transparency and accountability with the organization
    • Improved communication flow
    • Increased Focus on legal compliance
    • Control food safety non-conformances and take corrective action for significant or repetitive non-conformances
    • Better allergen management
    • More confidence to management and stakeholders on business risks

    ISO 22000 is based on the principles for food hygiene outlined in Codex Alimentarius, an internationally recognized set of guidelines and standards developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an intergovernmental body established by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

    Codex Alimentarius, also called the Food Code, is referenced in many national food safety laws. Because ISO 22000 is based on principles of Codex Alimentarius, government authorities can refer to ISO 22000 in national requirements and inspections. Compliance with ISO 22000 may also help companies meet requirements of national laws that reference the Food Code.

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      ISO 22000 Certification