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Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety certification schemes are becoming mandatory among food manufacturers worldwide. The objective is clear: Ensuring food safety at all levels of the supply chain. Therefore, many food producers have become increasingly focused on using packaging suppliers that comply with global standards and who are also implementing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program. FSSC 22000 has issued 1,200 certificates to food packaging manufacturers since they added a new scope for food packaging design and materials, making it a fast-growing GFSI benchmarked food safety certification scheme. FSSC 22000 is a Food Safety System Certification scheme based on ISO 22000 international standards and ISO TS 22002-4 for packaging (previously PAS 223). In 2013, the ISO TS 22002-4 document was added to provide the requirements for Prerequisite Programs that apply directly to the food packaging industry.
Auditing and certification for the FSSC 22000 standard
Certification is aimed at manufacturers of packaging materials made of glass, paper and board, plastic, and metal that come into direct contact with food. Packaging manufacturers are required to maintain procedures in the food safety management system and provide up-to-date links and references to all relevant regulations.
The certification process for FSSC 22000 for packaging manufacturers consists of these general steps:
1. Manufacturers can sign up for an optional “pre-audit” assessment which is useful in identifying weaknesses in systems and gaining confidence before the official audit.
2. The applicant is provided with a proposal based on the size and nature of their organization, and, once accepted, they can proceed with an audit.
3. Formal on-site audit – all parts and processes are examined to determine compliance with every clause in the standard. Manufacturers receive a Corrective Action Report at the end of the audit and need to close non-conformities by providing evidence of action to the auditor.
4. Full recertification audits are scheduled at intervals that vary with level of certification.
FSSC 22000 is the only scheme that has a three-year certification period.
FSSC 22000 is a very comprehensive food safety management system standard but is easy to integrate with an organization’s existing management system.
FOOD SAFETY CONSULTANT