Transitioning to ISO 22000:2018

Whipping up the appetite for compliance with the newly introduced ISO 22000:2018. Preparing for the seamless transition to a higher threshold

What is ISO 22000 and why was it revised?

There is a growing consciousness globally in the food industry for adherence to meticulous, quality-control and edibility standards whilst putting a seal of approval on provenance, safety and strict oversight practices along the food chain.

Keeping food safe at every stage in its passage from farm to fork by ensuring hygienic practices and traceability at every step of the supply chain are essential tasks and responsibilities of producers, suppliers, transporters, wholesalers, retailers and all constituents in the food chain. This is paramount for the reputation of the industry given vulnerabilities and often the lack of effective supervision in the system.

Enter ISO 22000:2018 – the need and implications for adherence

Stakeholders along the food supply chain have been confronting new food safety standards since the first publication and introduction of the ISO 22000 industry benchmark in 2005. As a result, there has been a clamour for revision and reassessment of existing yardsticks resulting in the issuance of news standards through the recently published ISO 22000:2018 makeover in June.

ISO 22000:2018 sets out the requirements, terms and conditions of observance for a food safety management system for any organization in the food chain. It defines what an organization must do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards and ensure that food is hygienic, meets nutritional guidelines and is safe for consumption.

Deadline for Transition to ISO 22000:2018

With the introduction and publication of ISO 22000:2018, it is now mandatory for companies certified to the ISO 22000:2005 standard to now transition their certificate to ISO 22000:2018. The transition deadline is June 2021, three years after release date of the revised code.

Key changes in the new ISO 22000:2018

ISO 22000:2018 is now the new international norm. It is the outcome of the applicable High Level Structure (HLS) mandate, normal for all ISO standards and other parameters that specifically apply food safety management requirements.

The key proposed changes to the standards constitute amendments to its composition include modification to its structure and clarifying inherent concepts contained within the chapters and clauses.

There are new riders for the systematic resolution and oversight. There are stipulations that relate to needs and expectations as well as identify measures to help management attain specified goals.

There are also other amendments associated with the entire gamut of procedural, functional and practical aspects of the drill down.

There are also provisions related to the role and commitment of management. These concern matters of risk management, communications, responsibilities, expectations and rules of engagement.

The new instructions unveiled this year, mark a new phase in resetting and rebooting strictures, after they were set out in 2005 with the advent of ISO 22000 compliance and good-practice standards for stakeholders in the international food industry.

Some key points include:

  • Strengthened emphasis on leadership and management commitment: Chapter 5.1 now includes new demands to actively engage and take accountability for the effectiveness of the management system.
  • Strengthened focus on objectives as drivers for improvements: these changes can be found in Chapter 6.2, and performance evaluation chapter 9.1.
  • The scope now specifically includes animal food: food for animals not producing food for human consumption. Feed is intended to be fed to food producing animals.
  • Some important changes in the definitions: ‘Harm’ is replaced by ‘adverse health effect’ to ensure consistency with definition of food safety hazard. The use of ‘assurance’ highlights the relationship between the consumer and the food product, based on the assurance of food safety.
  • There are extra topics required to be discussed during management review meetings: such as changes in the context, review of risks and opportunities and the effectiveness of actions taken to address them, performance of suppliers, complaints of interested parties and the adequacy of resources.
  • The previous version had 17 definitions. In comparison to there are 45 definitions now in place.
  • Also, the term ‘HACCP Plan’, which in ISO 22000:2005 refers only to CCPs, is no longer applicable. In the new standard the term Hazard Control Plan has been added.

Suggested steps for Transitioning

Familiarize with the content and requirements of ISO 22000:2018. URS Middle East can work with your team to help with the same. The guidelines are also available for purchase from the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Companies that are already ISO 22000:2005 certified are required to focus on the changes and the new additional requirements of ISO 22000:2018.

Employees need to stay on top of things and on the same page. Training is vital and employees must be adequately briefed about changes and the need for compliance.

Periodic internal audits are essential to identify and overcome deficiencies. Actionable measures and upgrades must be undertaken for the successful implementation of the necessary and sufficient changes.

URS Middle East – Your trusted & competent partner

URS Middle-East assists companies holding ISO-22000 documentation navigate through the processes and controls required to upgrade, attain and adhere to the modified, demanding ISO 22000-2018 certification requirements.

Being well acquainted with the fulfillment requirements of the standard, we stand alongside you in your quest to attain and meet all objectives.

With ISO 22000:2018 we not only aspire to be your ‘food for thought’ but also stay the course in a fruitful and fulfilling business relationship.

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