Certifying to ISO 22003-1

Harmonization: ISO 22003-1 and 22003-2 for food safety audit and certification.

ISO 22003-1 is a supplement to ISO 17021-1: 2015, an accredited standard for auditing and certifying various management systems. The goal of this standard is to standardize third-party audit requirements for food safety management organizations (FSMS). 

This document defines the rules for auditing and certifying FSMS that comply with ISO 22000 or any other specified set of FSMS requirements, which include food safety standards based on internationally recognized food safety principles.  

This standard is intended for use by organizations that perform FSMS audits and certifications in accordance with ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. It is up to the organization seeking certification to develop its own management systems, and it is up to the organization to decide how various components will be organized, except where relevant legislative requirements specify otherwise. Depending on the organization, the degree of integration between various management systems will change. As a result, certification bodies that follow this document should take into account the culture and practices of their clients when integrating their FSMS into larger organizations. 

The FSMS certification does not guarantee the safety or fitness of a company’s products in the food chain. However, a company’s management system must satisfy all applicable food safety-related statutory and regulatory requirements. This standard only certifies management systems; product certifications are not included. 

This standard supports the industry organizations in obtaining food safety certification. It also ensures that certification bodies that perform food safety certification assessments meet the minimum benchmarked requirements, giving regulators and consumers confidence in food safety outcomes. 

ISO 22003-2 is an extension of ISO 17065: 2012, a standard for accrediting bodies that certify a wide range of products, processes, and services. Part 2 of the ISO 22003 standard aims to harmonize the requirements for food safety systems (FSS) across the supply chain for food businesses and service providers.  

This category covers the rules involved in food safety system (FSS) audits and the certification of products, processes and services that comply with the international principles of food safety.

ISO/IEC 17065 has been the primary accrediting standard for food safety schemes based on product certification since the late 1990s.  

It lacked, among other things (auditors and others), critical requirements for the audit procedure, audit time, food chain categories, and certification body employee competence. Because these FSS schemes differed, each scheme owner determined them independently, causing client and customer confusion and complications for certifying organizations. 

FSS certification is simply a product certification that includes requirements based on internationally recognized food safety fundamentals such as prerequisite programmes and control measures derived from a site-specific or generic hazard analysis. It also includes management system components that help to produce safe food like management commitment, responsibility and review, documented information, internal audit etc. 

To be eligible for this new standard, certification schemes must tailor their FSS requirements to include internationally recognized food safety principles, essentially the Codex approach as outlined in the new General Principles for food hygiene, as well as key management system elements. 

This new standard will form the basis for a food safety sector application that scheme owners can use to develop a food safety certification scheme that includes audits as a conformity assessment activity. 

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