Passing ISO 22000 Audits With Ease

Richard Wilson November 14, 2023

What is an ISO 22000 Audit?

An ISO 22000 audit is a systematic examination of a food safety management system (FSMS) against the requirements set by the ISO 22000 standard. This standard specifies the criteria for a comprehensive FSMS to ensure food safety at every stage of the food supply chain. The audit can be conducted internally within an organization, externally by customers or third-party auditors, or as part of a certification process.

Key Components of ISO 22000

ISO 22000 Audit Process

Implementing ISO 22000, a comprehensive food safety management system standard involves a structured schedule that can be broadly divided into several key stages. Here’s a general outline of what an ISO 22000 implementation schedule might look like:

1. Initial Preparation and Planning:

2. Training and Awareness:

3. Documentation Development:

4. Implementation of Prerequisite Programs (PRPs) and Hazard Analysis:

5. System Implementation and Operation:

6. Review and Improvement:

7. Pre-Certification Audit (Optional):

8. Certification Audits:

9. Post-Certification Activities:

The actual timeframe for each stage can vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization, existing practices, and the resources available. Typically, the entire process from initial planning to certification can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more. It’s important to note that ISO 22000 is a continuous improvement process, so even after certification, the organization should focus on continually enhancing its food safety practices.

What does an ISO 22000 audit include?

SectionKey Components
Management Responsibility and CommitmentFood safety policy review
Management commitment to the FSMS
Food safety team structure and responsibilities
FSMS PlanningFSMS adequacy for food safety
Objectives and performance metrics
Risk management procedures
Resource ManagementInfrastructure and work environment
Personnel competence and training
External resources and services
Prerequisite Programs (PRPs)Facility cleanliness and sanitation
Pest control measures
Employee health and hygiene
Traceability SystemProduct identification and traceability
Product recall procedures
Emergency Preparedness and ResponseEmergency plan effectiveness
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)Hazard analysis
Critical Control Points (CCPs) monitoring Corrective actions for hazards
Control of Monitoring and MeasuringMonitoring and measuring devices and methods
Food safety control measures
Validation, Verification, and Improvement of the FSMSValidation and verification procedures
Internal audits and management reviews
Continuous improvement processes
Internal AuditInternal audit program effectiveness
Follow-up actions from internal audits
Product Handling and PreparationProduct handling, preparation, packaging, distribution processes
Storage and transportation conditions
Documentation and Record KeepingDocumentation appropriateness and maintenance
Food safety and compliance records

ISO 22000 vs FSSC 2200 vs BRC

CriteriaISO 22000FSSC 22000BRC/BRCGS
Certification ProcessTwo-stage onsite auditTwo-stage onsite auditOne-stage onsite audit
Certification ApproachCombines elements of ISO 9001 with a focus on food safetyFramework for implementing a process-based FSMSPrescriptive guidelines for food safety procedures
Scope of RequirementsIncludes PRPs and a HACCP-specific food safety planBuilds upon ISO 22000 with additional specific requirementsEvery 6 or 12 months, based on the assessed grade
Nonconformity (NC) Closeout / Deadline for Corrective ActionsWithin 14 daysWithin 30 daysWithin 28 days
Recertification Period / Validity of CertificateEvery 3 years, with annual surveillance auditsEvery 3 years, with annual surveillance auditsEvery 6 or 12 months, based on assessed grade
Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)NoYesYes

Benefits of ISO 22000

1. Enhanced Food Safety: ISO 22000 provides a framework for effectively managing food safety risks, incorporating principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This enhances food safety at all stages of the food chain.

2. Improved Customer Confidence: Certification to an internationally recognized food safety standard can increase customers’ trust in your products, as it demonstrates a commitment to food safety and quality.

3. Global Recognition: ISO 22000 is recognized worldwide, which can facilitate easier access to global markets and may be required by some international buyers.

4. Integration with Other Management Systems: ISO 22000 is designed to be compatible with other ISO management system standards, making it easier to integrate with existing systems like ISO 9001 (Quality Management) or ISO 14001 (Environmental Management).

5. Systematic Management of Prerequisite Programs (PRPs): The standard requires the establishment of effective PRPs, which help in maintaining basic conditions and hygiene practices to ensure food safety.

6. Risk Management: It encourages a systematic approach to identifying food safety hazards and controlling them through pre-defined measures, thereby reducing the likelihood of food safety incidents.

7. Legal Compliance: Adherence to ISO 22000 helps ensure that your business complies with applicable food safety laws and regulations, thereby reducing the risk of legal non-compliance and associated penalties.

8. Continuous Improvement: The standard promotes continuous improvement of food safety processes, which can lead to enhanced performance over time.

9. Stakeholder Confidence: By demonstrating a real commitment to food safety, you can enhance the confidence of stakeholders, including customers, employees, and suppliers.

10. Efficient Resource Management: Implementing ISO 22000 can lead to more efficient use of resources, reducing waste and improving cost management.

Overall, ISO 22000 helps organizations in the food chain to demonstrate their ability to control food safety hazards and ensure that food is safe for consumption, thus providing a competitive advantage and supporting sustainable business growth.

AuditComply’s ISO 22000 Tool: Streamlining Audit Preparation and Certification Efforts

Gaining ISO 22000 certification is a detailed process that demands meticulous documentation, record-keeping, and organization-wide coordination. Traditional methods like pen and paper often prove cumbersome, especially when auditors need to digitize data and manually transfer audit reports. Leveraging the right technology can facilitate a smoother implementation and optimize the process of addressing food safety risks. Utilizing AuditComply’s mobile application, you can:

Download from AuditComply’s extensive library of ISO 22000 PDFs and digital checklists, transformed into user-friendly mobile checklists. These tools are designed to assist in preparing for ISO 22000 certification and pinpointing gaps in your current system. Additionally, we offer HACCP and GMP templates, integral to the development of a comprehensive FSMS.

Discover how AuditComply can revolutionize your FSMS implementation and audit preparation, ensuring a more streamlined and effective path to ISO 22000 certification. Request a demo today.

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