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The New FSSC 22000 Version 5

· 4 min read
Israel Munguia

FSSC 22000 Version 5 has been published, and in this article, I will highlight the major changes in this new edition. It is important to note that I will focus on the changes that impact companies operating under FSSC 22000 Version 4.1.

Therefore, we will specifically analyze those changes that directly affect companies with certification or those that have implemented the system, even if they are not certified.

1. Changes in ISO 22000 Standard

One of the most significant changes in FSSC 22000 Version 5 is in the ISO 22000:2018 standard. This update was made to adopt the new version of the ISO 22000:2018 standard. When reviewing the new ISO 22000 standard, you will notice that the structure of the standard has been completely revised. The new standard has adopted the high-level structure that ISO has implemented in all its standards. The high-level structure provides a common foundation that facilitates the implementation of integrated systems from different standards since they all share a common "backbone."

The new structure of the ISO 22000 standard starts with mandatory requirements in section 4, and it is organized as follows:

  • Organizational context.
  • Leadership.
  • Planning.
  • Support.
  • Operation.
  • Performance evaluation.
  • Improvement.

If you are familiar with other ISO standards that follow this high-level structure, it will be easier to adapt to the changes. Although the new structure may seem overwhelming, many of the requirements remain substantially unchanged, only their location and, in some cases, how they are mentioned or named have changed.

The main changes in the standard are due to the incorporation of new practices that must be implemented. Here are the key changes:

  1. You need to analyze the environment or context in which your company operates. This involves identifying internal and external factors that could influence the outcomes of your Food Safety Management System, whether positively or negatively.

  2. You must identify and understand all stakeholders who play a role in the effective operation of your Food Safety Management System. These stakeholders can be diverse, such as customers, consumers, government, shareholders, partners, top management, and employees, among others.

  3. An emphasis is placed on a risk and opportunity-based approach. Now, you need to assess and address risks and opportunities related to the organization rather than focusing exclusively on product hazards, raw materials, or processes. These risks are related to the organization's context, such as competition, organizational structure, culture, and business model, among others.

2. Changes in Prerequisites for FSSC 22000 Version 5

Regarding prerequisites, there have been no changes in the ISO/TS 22002-x standards, technical specifications, or BSI/PAS 221 or NEN/NTA 8069. In this aspect, everything remains the same as in the previous version.

3. Changes in Additional Requirements

In this new version, four changes have been identified, but mostly, they are formatting modifications rather than substantial changes in content. Here are the main changes:

  1. The wording of all additional requirements has changed, mainly due to two factors: the inclusion of elements from the ISO 22000:2018 standard and improvements in the additional requirements. These wording changes do not imply a greater number of requirements.

  2. The "Allergen Management" and "Product Formulation" requirements have expanded their scope. This means it is essential to review whether these requirements now apply to your company, even if they didn't before.

  3. The "Natural Resource Management" requirement, which only applied to category "A," has been removed in this new version.

  4. A new requirement called "Transport and Delivery" has been added, applicable only to category "F1," which covers Retail and Wholesalers.

In summary, the most significant changes are due to the update of ISO 22000, and some minor adjustments have been made to the additional requirements, but overall, they do not have a significant impact. The prerequisites remain unchanged.

4. Transition Considerations

It is important to note that:

  1. Starting from January 1, 2020, audits according to FSSC 22000 Version 5 will be allowed.

  2. Audits according to Version 4.1 can only be conducted until December 31, 2019.

  3. Certified companies will have from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, to transition to FSSC 22000 Version 5.

Since the transition time may be limited based on follow-up or recertification audit dates, it is essential to start working on the changes as soon as possible. This information will help you plan and adapt your company to the new requirements. You can consult the additional requirements on the official FSSC 22000 page for more details.