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All-in-One Solution for Food Safety Certification


ISO Releases New Handbook Focused on Certifying Food Safety Management Systems

Originally published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

A new handbook compiling two key standards for certifying food safety management systems puts all the information certification bodies need for reliable and efficient audits in one place. The handbook combines:

  • ISO/TS 22003, which outlines requirements for bodies issuing certifications to ISO 22000 on food safety management systems (FSMS)
  • ISO/IEC 17021, which sets generic requirements for bodies carrying out audits

These contain everything that a certification body (CB) must know when carrying out FSMS audits or certification.

Food certification
Food safety is an increasingly important public health issue. The consequences of unsafe food can be serious and food safety management standards (such as the ISO 22000 series) help organizations identify and control food safety hazards.

Certification to a food safety management system standard such as ISO 22000 can help reassure customers that an organization has implemented a system for the management of food safety in line with its policy. But this only works if we can have confidence in the certification.

Confidence in certification
This is where ISO/TS 22003 can play a critical role, according to Jacob Faergemand, co-convenor of the group of experts who developed the document. The technical specification defines rules on, for example, auditor competencies and audit duration that CBs have to implement.

In the latest edition of ISO/TS 22003, the most important change - and one to which the CB will need to adapt - is the shift from a "qualification-based approach" to a full "competence-based approach" for the definition of auditor competence requirements.

For more information, read the interview with Jacob Faergemand.

ISO/IEC 17021:2011, Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, was developed by ISO's Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO). Created in 1970, CASCO works to determine effective ways to assess the conformity of products, processes, services, and management systems, and to prepare guides and International Standards that will promote mutual recognition and acceptance of national and regional conformity assessment systems, among other activities. CASCO's Secretariat is part of the ISO Central Secretariat. Lane Hallenbeck, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) vice president for accreditation services, currently serves as the committee's chair.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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