What is the FSSC 22000 standard?
FSSC stands for Food Safety System Certification, and is an important food safety standard recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). An FSSC 22000 audit shows that your company has an efficient and effective food safety management system, and is an internationally recognized certification.
The FSSC 22000 standard is useful for food manufacturers who supply large food retailers or suppliers. An FSSC certification increases consumer confidence, because it means that all your products meet specific quality and safety standards.
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What does an FSSC 22000 audit checklist need to inspect?
A wide variety of areas and services impact food safety. The FSSC identifies these five areas as especially important:
- Transportation and storage
- Outsourced processes
Each area is relevant during different tasks. During the initial inventory, you can find out which relevant services you use with the following three steps:
- Conduct a threat assessment
- Implement measures to reduce threats
- Create a food defense plan
You need to give service providers clear instructions via checklist, so they know what to look for. The following points should be included in allFSSC 22000 audit checklists, to ensure food safety:
- Scope of activity
- Cleaning schedules
- Hygiene rules
- Materials and equipment
Make sure your service provider implements all specifications correctly, monitoring where necessary. This is the only way to ensure that the FSSC requirements can be met.
What’s the difference between ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000?
ISO 22000 is another international food safety standard. The main difference between ISO and FSSC 22000 is that FSSC has a few additional sector-specific requirements. However, it’s easy for organizations who already hold an ISO 22000 certification to obtain an FSSC 22000 certification as well.
As it stands, an ISO certification is not recognized by the GFSI. The additional requirements for any FSSC 22000 audit checklist to include are:
- More thorough documentation due to stricter requirements and for traceability purposes.
- Refraining from using the FSSC logo on their products, labels, or packaging. Companies are only allowed to use it for marketing or other promotional endeavors.
- Certified companies must adhere to strict labeling requirements regarding allergens and other information necessary for safe consumption.
- These additional requirements also apply to service management and purchased materials. In laboratory testing, the laboratory must implement test-retest reliability measures for consistency and safety purposes. Threy also need quality assurance practicesin place to ensure food safety and certification standards.
- FSSC 22000 certified companies also need an active food defense plan. The plan needs to be in line with the company’s FSMS and include the following four elements: Food inspection, hygiene control, thorough documentation, and employee screening/personal hygiene.
- Your company must have an environmental monitoring program to protect your surroundings from contamination as a result of the manufacturing, transportation, and delivery process.
- There are also several prerequisite programs, addressing areas like building layout, workplace layout, utilities, inventory, and management. You should reinforce these standards with regular internal audits.
What are the benefits of an FSSC 22000 certification?
The FSSC 22000 standard is designed for food suppliers and manufacturers across the entire supply chain. This includes animal and perishable products, long shelf life products, ingredients, and food packaging materials.
The three core advantages of an FSSC 22000 system are:
- It’s occasionally required, for example for large food retailers working with suppliers.
- The standard makes it easier to introduce anHACCP system.
- HSCC 22000 certification provides a framework that helps companies organize their food safety management system.
How much does FSSC certification cost?
The price of an FSCC 22000 certification largely depends on your company size, complexity, and how much work is needed to fulfill standard requirements. While these numbers may vary, here are some price estimates that vary by business size:
- Small business – $17,500
- Medium-sized business – $21,000
- Large business – $25,000
Additional factors that could impact pricing include:
- Consultant fees
- Software costs
- Training courses
- Employee time
- Number of audits conducted
- Infrastructure upgrades
- Certification and accreditation costs
There are several FSSC certification bodies you could choose from. Get a quote from at least three different certification companies and compare pricing, strategies, and consulting practices. When you have multiple quotes, you can negotiate if the certification body you want to employ gives you a higher quote than their competitor.
Using a digital FSSC 22000 audit checklist
Digital platforms like Lumiform make obtaining your FSSC 22000 certification easier. With Lumiform’s mobile app, you can easily conduct quality and safety audits, report issues, and assign corrective actions to colleagues. Easy communication with all team members and third parties allows you to improve internal processes and resolve incidents up to four times faster than normal.
The software allows you to conveniently implement your FSSC 22000 checklist. All relevant stakeholders can access these checklists at any time, from any location. If corrective measures are necessary, you can inform service providers directly. Clean, transparent documentation helps to meet certification requirements.
The ability to download and complete inspection checklists from anywhere means:
- You can replace any physical checklist with a digital one in minutes, using the flexible checklist builder.
- You have over 12,000 ready-made templates to use as a basis for inspections.
- The results, images, and comments on your inspections are automatically converted into digital reports.
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