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What is ISO 22000 Standard and How to Obtain Certification?

· 3 min read
Israel Munguia

If you've ever wondered what the ISO 22000 Standard is and how to obtain its certification, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll simplify this global food safety standard and guide you through the certification process.

What is the ISO 22000 Standard?

The ISO 22000 Standard is a globally recognized standard for managing food safety. This standard establishes mandatory requirements that companies must implement to ensure that the foods they produce and market are free from contaminants and safe for consumption.

Due to its international status, ISO 22000 requirements are consistent worldwide. This means that an ISO 22000 certificate is valid and accepted in any country, providing confidence to your customers.

The current version of this standard was published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2018.

How to Get ISO 22000 Certification?

For a company to obtain ISO 22000 certification, it's essential to implement and fully comply with all its requirements. This involves the company undergoing a series of audits conducted by a certification body accredited by ISO. The primary purpose of these audits is to gather sufficient evidence to ensure that the company has maintained all the standard's requirements.

These audits are a crucial step in the certification process, and their outcome will determine if the company is ready to receive the coveted ISO 22000 certificate. Remember that continuous compliance with the standard's requirements is fundamental because the certification body will continue to conduct annual audits to ensure that the company maintains food safety standards.

The process for seeking ISO 22000 certification consists of three stages:

  1. Initial Assessment: In this stage, a consulting company you choose will conduct a diagnosis. The consultant will visit your facilities to assess your systems, controls, facility conditions, and the complexity of your production process. In the end, you will receive an estimate of the time required to implement the standard's requirements, as well as a financial proposal.

  2. Implementation: Once you hire a consultant, they will work collaboratively with your staff to define procedures, instructions, policies, and records that describe how to comply with the standard's requirements. These documents will be implemented and maintained in use. Adaptations to facilities and infrastructure should also be made as necessary.

  3. Certification Audits: You will need to select a certification body that will conduct two audits at your company. The first (Stage 1) will assess compliance with documentation, while the second (Stage 2) will verify implementation. Additionally, you can opt for an optional pre-audit that combines both stages but does not grant the certificate.

Upon completing these stages, the certification body will issue a recommendation (indicating that you are ready for certification) or a non-recommendation (indicating that you are not yet prepared).

Keep in mind that the process does not end here; the certification body will perform annual audits to ensure that your company continues to meet the standard's requirements.

Benefits of ISO 22000 Certification

Obtaining ISO 22000 certification offers numerous benefits to your company:

  • Food Safety: Demonstrates a commitment to food safety, which is crucial for gaining the trust of customers.

  • Business Boost: For many companies, this certification has been a factor that boosts their sales and business.

  • Marketing Tool: You can use your ISO 22000 certification as a powerful marketing tool in your products, websites, and promotional materials.

The ISO 22000 Standard is a valuable asset for your company, providing you with a competitive advantage and ensuring the quality and safety of your food products.