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New International Standard for Safe Food Supply Chains

New York, Sep 06, 2005

A new standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for food safety management systems is designed to ensure safe food supply chains worldwide. ISO 22000:2005, Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain, provides a framework for organizations in the food chain to demonstrate the ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.

Consumers reside at the end of a complex food supply chain linking myriad organizations across multiple borders. A weak link anywhere along the supply chain can lead to unsafe food and dangers like food-borne illnesses in both developed and developing countries. These failures can lead to considerable economic costs to the suppliers as well as in medical treatments, insurance payments and legal compensation. ISO 22000 amerged as a response to these risks and was developed within ISO by experts from the food industry, along with representatives of specialized international organizations.

“Public sector participation in the development of the ISO 22000 family is also significant,” ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented, “notably that of the FAO/WHO’s Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is responsible for the well-known HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system for food hygiene. Thanks to the strong partnership between ISO and Codex, ISO 22000 will facilitate the implementation of HACCP and the food hygiene principles developed by this pre-eminent body in this field.”

ISO 22000 is designed to allow all types of organizations within the food chain to implement a food safety management system, and will make it easier for organizations worldwide to implement the Codex HACCP system for food hygiene in a harmonized way. The standard will benefit feed producers, primary producers, food manufacturers, transport and storage operators and subcontractors to retail and food service outlets – together with related organizations such as producers of equipment, packaging material, cleaning agents, additives and ingredients.

In addition, food safety management systems that conform to ISO 22000 can be certified – which answers the growing demand in the food sector for the certification of suppliers – although the standard can be implemented without certification of conformity, solely for the benefits it provides.

ISO 22000:2005 is the first in a family of standards that will include the following documents (not yet published):

  • ISO/TS 22004, Food safety management systems – Guidance on the application of ISO 22000:2005
  • ISO/TS 22003, Food safety management systems – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems
  • ISO 22005, Traceability in the feed and food chain – General principles and guidance for system design and development

ISO 22000 is available for purchase from the ANSI eStandards Store.