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Food safety is linked to the presence of food-borne hazards in food at the point of consumption. Since food safety hazards can occur at any stage in the food chain it is essential that adequate control be in place. Therefore, a combined effort of all parties through the food chain is required.
ISO 22000 standard
The ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves the following elements:
Critical reviews of the above elements have been conducted by many scientists , , , . Communication along the food chain is essential to ensure that all relevant food safety hazards are identified and adequately controlled at each step within the food chain. This implies communication between organizations both upstream and downstream in the food chain. Communication with customers and supplies about identified hazards and control measures will assist in clarifying customer and supplier requirements.
Recognition of the organization's role and position within the food chain is essential to ensure effective interactive communication throughout the chain in order to deliver safe food products to the final consumer.
The most effective food safety systems are established, operated and updated within the framework of a structured management system and incorporated into the overall management activities of the organization. This provides maximum benefit for the organization and interested parties. ISO 22000 has been aligned with ISO 9001 in order to enhance the compatibility of the two standards.
ISO 22000 can be applied independently of other management system standards or integrated with existing management system requirements.
ISO 22000 integrates the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and application steps developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. By means of auditable requirements, it combines the HACCP plan with prerequisite programmes. Hazard analysis is the key to an effective food safety management system, since conducting a hazard analysis assists in organizing the knowledge required to establish an effective combination of control measures. ISO 22000 requires that all hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur in the food chain, including hazards that may be associated with the type of process and facilities used, are identified and assessed. Thus it provides the means to determine and document why certain identified hazards need to be controlled by a particular organization and why others need not.
During hazard analysis, the organization determines the strategy to be used to ensure hazard control by combining the prerequisite programmes and the HACCP plan.
ISO is developing additional standards that are related to ISO 22000. These standards will be known as the ISO 22000 family of standards. At the present time, the following standards will make up the ISO 22000 family of standards:
ISO 22000 - Food safety management systems - Requirements for any organization in the food chain.
ISO 22001 - Guidelines on the application of ISO 9001:2000 for the food and drink industry (replaces: ISO 15161:2001).
ISO/TS 22002- Prerequisite programmes on food safety -- Part 1: Food manufacturing
ISO TS 22003 - Food safety management systems for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems.
ISO TS 22004 - Food safety management systems - Guidance on the application of ISO 22000:2005.
ISO 22005 - Traceability in the feed and food chain - General principles and basic requirements for system design and implementation.
ISO 22006 - Quality management systems - Guidance on the application of ISO 9002:2000 for crop production.
ISO 22000 is also used in the Food Safety Systems Certification (FSSC) Scheme FS22000. FS22000 is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) approved scheme.
ISO 9001 vs ISO 22000
In comparison with ISO 9001, the standard is a more procedural orientated guidance than a principle based one. Apart from that, ISO 22000 is an industrial-specific risk management system for any type of food processing and marketing, which can be closely incorporated with the quality management system of ISO 9001. The detailed similarities and differences of the two standards can be found elsewhere
In 2004, European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardisation addressed that the standard is only suitable for large sized companies and small food businesses will not be able to seek such a high standard due to the lack of resources to pursue the certification. The agency suggests to create an alternative for small food business to achieve the same objective . EFSA is now making their efforts on the food legislations that are adaptable for the SMEs in food supply chains . A few critics also proposed that organizations which seek the standard certification should also do the same to the ISO 14001 along with the ISO 9001, as they consider that large amounts of risks are mainly from the primary production in the supply chains rather than the later stages of food processing .
ISO14000 - Introduction
After the success of the ISO9000 series of quality standards, the International Standards Organization published a comprehensive set of standards for environmental management. This series of standards is designed to cover the whole area of environmental issues for organizations in the global marketplace.
History of Development
The ISO 14000 series emerged primarily as a result of the Uruguay round of the GATT negotiations and the Rio Summit on the Environment held in 1992. While GATT concentrates on the need to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade, the Rio Summit generated a commitment to protection of the environment across the world. The environmental field has seen a steady growth of national and regional standards. The British Standards Institution has BS 7750, the Canadian Standards Association has environmental management, auditing, eco-labeling and other standards, the European Union has all of these plus the eco-management and audit regulations, and many other countries (e.g. USA, Germany and Japan) have introduced eco-labeling programs.
After the rapid acceptance of ISO 9000, and the increase of environmental standards around the world, ISO assessed the need for international environmental management standards. They formed the Strategic Advisory Group on the Environment (SAGE) in 1991, to consider whether such standards could serve to:
In 1992, SAGE's recommendations created a new committee, TC 207, for international environmental management standards. The committee, and its sub-committees include representatives from industry, standards organizations, government and environmental organizations from many countries. The new series of ISO14000 standards are designed to cover:
Why have these standards ?
A set of international standards brings a world-wide focus to the environment, encouraging a cleaner, safer, healthier world for us all. The existence of the standards allows organizations to focus environmental efforts against an internationally accepted criteria.
At present many countries and regional groupings are generating their own requirements for environmentla issues, and these vary between the groups. A single standard will ensure that there are no conflicts between regional interpretations of good environmental pactice.
The fact that companies may need environmental management certification to compete in the global marketplace could easily overshadow all ethical reasons for environmental management. Within Europe, many organizations gained ISO9000 Registration primarily to meet growing demands from customers. ISO 9000 quality registration has become necessary to do business in many areas of commerce. Similarly, the ISO 14000 management system registration may become the primary requirement for doing business in many regions or industries.
Who do the standards apply to ?
The standards apply to all types and sizes of organizations and are designed to encompass diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions. For ISO14001, except for committing to continual improvement and compliance with applicable legislation and regulations, the standard does not establish absolute requirements for environmental performance. Many organizations, engaged in similar activities, may have widely different environmental management systems and performance, and may all comply with ISO14001.
What do the standards apply to ?
This is primarily for the company to decide, and to clearly document the extent of coverage. However, limiting coverage to a small [inconsequential] area may provide competitors with an ideal marketing opportunity!.
There does not appear to be a limit to the coverage of the environmental management system in that it can include the organization's products, services, activities, operations, facilities, transportation, etc.
From a slightly different viewpoint, all of the elements in the previous sentence should be considered for environmental impact resulting from current practices, past practices and future practices, ......and should further be reviewed for their impact under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions.
What does the ISO 14000 Series cover ?
The best way to answer this question is to provide a list of the proposed standards:
General Description of ISO14001
ISO14001 requires an Environmental Policy to be in existence within the organisation, fully supported by senior management, and outlining the policies of the company, not only to the staff but to the public. The policy needs to clarify compliance with Environmental Legislation that may effect the organization and stress a commitment to continuous improvement. Emphasis has been placed on policy as this provides the direction for the remainder of the Management System.
Those companies who have witnessed ISO9000 Assessments will know that the policy is frequently discussed during the assessment, many staff are asked if they understand or are aware of the policy, and any problems associated with the policy are seldom serious. The Environmental Policy is different, this provides the initial foundation and direction for the Management System and will be more stringently reviewed than a similar ISO9000 policy. The statement must be publicised in non-technical language so that it can be understood by the majority of readers. It should relate to the sites within the organisation encompassed by the Management System, it should provide an overview of the company’s activities on the site and a description of those activities. A clear picture of the company’s operations.
The preparatory review and definition of the organization's environmental effects is not part of a ISO14001 Assessment, however examination of this data will provide an external audit with a wealth of information on the methods adopted by the company. The preparatory review itself should be comprehensive in consideration of input processes and output at the site. This review should be designed to identify all relevant environmental aspects that may arise from existence on the site. These may relate to current operations, they may relate to future, perhaps even unplanned future activities, and they will certainly relate to the activities performed on site in the past (i.e. contamination of land).
The initial or preparatory review will also include a wide-ranging consideration of the legislation which may effect the site, whether it is currently being complied with, and perhaps even whether copies of the legislation are available. Many of the environmental assessments undertaken already have highlighted that companies are often unaware of ALL of the legislation that affects them, and being unaware, are often not meeting the requirements of that legislation.
The company will declare its primary environmental objectives, those that can have most environmental impact. In order to gain most benefit these will become the primary areas of consideration within the improvement process, and the company’s environmental program. The program will be the plan to achieve specific goals or targets along the route to a specific goal and describe the means to reach those objectives such that they are real and achievable. The Environmental Management System provides further detail on the environmental program. The EMS establishes procedures, work instructions and controls to ensure that implementation of the policy and achievement of the targets can become a reality. Communication is a vital factor, enabling people in the organisation to be aware of their responsibilities, aware of the objectives of the scheme, and able to contribute to its success.
As with ISO9000 the Environmental Management System requires a planned comprehensive periodic audit of the Environmental Management System to ensure that it is effective in operation, is meeting specified goals, and the system continues to perform in accordance with relevant regulations and standards. The audits are designed to provide additional information in order to exercise effective management of the system, providing information on practices which differ to the current procedures or offer an opportunity for improvement.
In addition to audit, there is a requirement for Management Review of the system to ensure that it is suitable (for the organization and the objectives) and effective in operation. The management review is the ideal forum to make decisions on howe to improve for the future.
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