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Differences Between HACCP, ISO 22000, and FSSC 22000

· 3 min read
Israel Munguia

Food safety management systems, such as HACCP, ISO 22000, and FSSC 22000, are widely used in the food industry to ensure the safety of food products. Although these systems share the goal of ensuring product safety, there are key differences that may influence your choice when implementing one of them.

Why Implement a Food Safety Management System?

Before deciding which system to implement, it is essential to understand why you are doing it. Two common reasons are:

  1. External Requirements: A customer demands that you implement a system, you are entering a new market, or you are facing regulations that require a specific approach. In this case, you should research the requirements of your customer, sector, or country and adopt the necessary system.

  2. Internal Initiative: Your company voluntarily decides to implement a system to offer safe products and satisfy customers. If this is your case, continue reading to evaluate the characteristics of each system and select the one that best suits your needs.

System Features:


HACCP primarily focuses on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, identifying critical points to ensure food safety. It is the most basic system, and in Mexico, the Ministry of Health considers it mandatory for certain food sectors according to NOM 251-SSA1-2009. Implementing HACCP is a sensible option for small companies taking their first steps in food safety management.


Learn more about HACCP at our Free Learning Center.

ISO 22000

The ISO 22000 standard, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), adds requirements for food safety management, ensuring that the company has effective mechanisms for continuous improvement through data analysis. This standard combines the HACCP system with additional requirements. Implementing ISO 22000 is suitable for medium or large companies, as well as those already implementing HACCP and aiming to enhance their results.

FSSC 22000

FSSC 22000, developed by the FSSC 22000 Foundation, is the most rigorous system of the three. It combines the implementation of ISO 22000 with ISO/TS 22002-x and additional requirements. This system is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) as suitable for ensuring food safety. Implementing FSSC 22000 is an excellent choice if your company already has ISO 22000 in place and seeks to elevate its food safety standards.


All three systems will help you establish controls to ensure food safety, but they vary in terms of requirements, from the lightest, HACCP, to the most comprehensive, FSSC 22000. This order is reflected in certification recognition. While it is common to start with HACCP and progress to other systems, keep in mind that it is not necessary to follow a linear progression. Any company can implement FSSC 22000, regardless of its size or whether it has previously implemented another management system.

Regardless of your choice, the crucial factor is a commitment to fulfilling all requirements and not viewing it as a mere formality to obtain certification.