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23 August 2018

ISO 22000:2018 - what are the changes?

By Andrew O'Hara

Every year, an estimated 600 million people – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food, according to a 2015 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Of those 600 million, 420,000 die, with children under 5 accounting for more than a third of deaths.

With the consequences of unsafe food being potentially life-threatening, the need to control hazards to food safety at every stage of the food chain becomes even more important, in order to prevent contamination and make sure that food is safe.

By specifying the requirements for a food safety management system (FSMS), ISO 22000 enables organisations in the food chain to demonstrate their ability to control food safety hazards in order to make sure that food is safe.

According to a 2016 survey by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the developers of ISO 22000, more than 32,000 organisations around the world have gained certification to the first version of the standard, published in 2005.

But since the standard was originally published, food safety around the world has faced a growing number of challenges. These include an E.coli outbreak in lettuce in the US in April 2018, in which 210 people fell ill, 5 of whom died as a result.

In June 2018, ISO published the second version of the standard, ISO 22000:2018. This second version makes major changes both to the standard’s structure as well as to its requirements that make it easier for organisations in the food chain to identify and control food safety hazards.

Organisations certified to the first version of the standard now have until June 2021 to transition to the second version.

The biggest change to this second version of the standard is the introduction of Annex SL. Annex SL was developed in 2013 and sets out the same high level structure (HLS), text and terms and definitions for all new and revised ISO management system standards (MSS).

ISO 22000:2018’s introduction of Annex SL makes it easier for organisations in the food chain to integrate their FSMS with other MSS, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.

In being able to manage food safety together with quality, environmental or health and safety, organisations can cut down on the time, effort and cost associated with multiple MSS and improve the effectiveness of processes throughout the organisation.

Annex SL focuses on prevention, rather than correction and one of the most significant changes it introduces is a new approach to managing risk, which makes clear the differences between how risk should be managed at both the operational and the organisational levels of the FSMS.

Organisations in the food chain should now also find it easier to apply the principles and steps of the Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach in making sure that food is safe.

ISO 22000:2018 strengthens the first version’s requirements for managing food safety, with new requirements that help organisations improve how they handle food and implement procedures to make sure that the food they produce is safe.

In addition, this second version makes the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle clearer, with two separate PDCA cycles working together. The first cycle covers the food safety management system (FSMS) with the second inside it covering food safety, including the principles of HACCP.

And, with food supply chains becoming longer and more complex, the standard now goes beyond the principles of HACCP to look more closely at how risk is managing in making food.

In doing so, it takes a broader look at the supply chain in order to help organisations in controlling food safety hazards at every stage of the food chain and in making sure that food is safe.

Organisations in the food chain around the world use Q-Pulse to gain and maintain ISO 22000 certification and, with the publication of the new version, we’re continuing to support organisations in the food chain seeking certification to the standard.

Our ISO 22000:2018 quick reference guide shows how Q-Pulse can help organisations put in place a FSMS that demonstrates conformity to the requirements of the standard. The guide lists the standard’s clauses and subclauses and details the modules of Q-Pulse appropriate to each.

The guide is available on request either as a downloadable PDF or as a print brochure that folds out into an A2 poster. Both let you see at a glance how Q-Pulse can help meet the standard’s requirements to help your organisation gain and maintain ISO 22000 certification.

Get in touch now for your copy.

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