ISO Certification in Food Safety: An Overview
India is the world’s second most populous country, with over 1.3 billion people, and is predicted to become the world’s most populous nation by 2027. In 2016, the country experienced an annual growth rate of 7.5%, making it the fastest-growing major economy in the world. The food and beverage industry is one of the largest sectors in the Indian economy, with a turnover of US$394 billion in 2015.
India’s food and beverage industry is highly fragmented, with many small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The top 10 companies account for only about 20% of the market. The sector needs to be more organized, with many unregistered and unlicensed players. This makes it difficult to estimate the industry’s size and growth accurately.
India’s food and beverage industry is subject to strict regulations, as food safety is a significant concern for the government and consumers. The food safety regulations are governed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The FSSAI has laid down standards for all stages of the food supply chain, from production to distribution to retail. All food businesses in India must be registered with the FSSAI and obtain a license. The license is renewed every year.
The FSSAI has also introduced a voluntary certification scheme for food businesses called the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) certification. The FSMS certification is based on the international ISO 22000 standard. Businesses certified by the FSSAI are deemed to have better food safety management systems and are therefore trusted more by consumers.
The FSMS certification is valid for three years. Certified businesses can use the FSMS logo on their products and marketing materials.
The FSMS certification scheme is voluntary, but many businesses opt for it as it gives them a competitive edge. In 2015, about 1,500 businesses were certified by the FSSA.
Importance of ISO 22000 Certification for Food Safety Management
Unsafe food can have severe consequences.
ISO’s food safety management standards assist organizations in recognizing and managing food safety risks while collaborating with other ISO management standards like ISO 9001.
ISO 22000 is relevant to all kinds of producers and adds more confidence to the global food supply chain.
It helps food products cross borders and ensures that people receive trustworthy food they can rely on.
Why should businesses consider implementing ISO 22000?
ISO 22000 is a valuable resource for businesses operating in the food industry. It ensures that the food they produce or handle is safe for consumption.
By following the guidelines in ISO 22000:2018, businesses can establish a robust food safety management system (FSMS).
The updated standard offers several benefits to businesses.
· Firstly, it facilitates the integration of ISO 22000 with other management systems, making it easier to align food safety practices with overall business operations.
· Secondly, it introduces the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and risk-based thinking, enabling businesses to manage risks and reduce potential hazards proactively.
· Finally, by combining PDCA and risk-based thinking with the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) approach, ISO 22000 assists businesses in minimizing risks and enhancing overall food safety.
By implementing ISO 22000, businesses can effectively mitigate risks, safeguard their operations, and improve the safety of the food they offer.
Stepwise Process to Get ISO 22000 Certification
1. Familiarize yourself: Learn about ISO 22000 and its requirements. Understand how it applies to your organization and the benefits it offers.
2. Gap analysis: Assess your current food safety management system against ISO 22000. Identify areas that need improvement and develop an action plan.
3. Establish a team: Form a dedicated team responsible for implementing ISO 22000. Assign roles and responsibilities to ensure effective coordination.
4. Documentation: Create necessary documents, including policies, procedures, and work instructions, aligned with ISO 22000 standards.
5. Training: Provide relevant training to employees on food safety practices, ISO 22000 requirements, and their roles in maintaining compliance.
6. Implementation: Put your documented procedures into practice. Ensure that food safety measures are consistently followed throughout your organization.
7. Internal audit: Conduct regular internal audits to assess the effectiveness of your food safety management system and identify areas for improvement.
8. Corrective actions: Promptly address any non-conformities or deficiencies found during internal audits. Take corrective actions to rectify them.
9. Certification body selection: Choose an accredited certification body to conduct an external audit and provide ISO 22000 certification.
10. External audit and certification: Engage the chosen certification body to perform an external audit. If your organization meets the requirements, you will receive ISO 22000 certification