Supply chains are increasingly global in nature, especially in the food sector where products regularly cross national boundaries at every stage of production and distribution. Standards create confidence in what we eat or drink by ensuring the world uses the same recipe when it comes to food quality, safety, efficiency and transparency.
Food safety management standards outline regulatory requirements for organizations involved in the food supply chain. The ISO 22000 series highlights and combines the key food safety actions that organizations should demonstrate and fulfil. These include hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP), improved communication across the supply chain and more effective management systems. ISO 22000 requires users to develop Pre Requisite Programmes (PRPs) to support their food safety system and a number of industry-specific ISO PRP standards are available.
In addition, PAS documents are available that cover food safety and industry PRPs, including defending food and drink, food safety in food retail and PRPs for food packaging.
Standardization in the area of food safety is a cost-effective way of helping address regulatory requirements and gives industry the confidence to identify and prevent food safety hazards throughout the supply chain. Improved planning, documentation and controls, as well as streamlined processes benefit the user. Standards such as ISO 22000 emphasize improved communication with suppliers and also provide a framework for third party certification.
Trends and future work in Food
With the growing emphasis on ‘from farm to fork’, national and international organizations as well as consumers will be focusing on food safety management throughout the entire food chain.
In addition to food safety, and with the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the sustainability of food remains of critical importance. This presents two opportunities for standards: providing guidance on how to source responsibly and developing good practice in the use of genetically-modified crops which can deliver higher yields, require fewer nutrients and pesticides, and can also cope with poorer soil conditions and less irrigation.
How food is produced also highlights where standards can help in providing greater transparency and traceability in terms of labelling, and with the new European Food Information Regulation coming into force in 2014, manufacturers and retailers will be required to ensure packaging is fully compliant.
Links to standards related to Food
BS EN ISO 22000
Food safety management systems. Requirements for any organization in the food chain.
BS EN ISO 22002 series
Prerequisite programmes on food safety.
PD ISO/TS 22002-4
Prerequisite programmes on food safety - Food packaging manufacturing.
Links to other related support materials
Managing food safety CD-ROM.
Managing food safety the 22000 way.