What is ISO 22000 2018

ISO 22000: 2018 Food Safety Management Systems

Objectives of the revision

The main aim of the revision was to adopt the high level structure in accordance with Annex SL of the ISO IEC guidelines, which, as a framework for management systems, is intended to facilitate the mutual integration of management systems based on this structure. In addition, a new understanding of the term “risk” was developed and a clear distinction was made between known hazards (HACCP) at the operational level and the company risks associated with opportunities. The aim was by no means to question the HACCP principles, but rather to make the standard more user-friendly, to define potentially confusing terms more understandably and to avoid repetition, thus enabling organizations of all sizes to easily implement the requirements.

Probably the most challenging activity in the course of the many discussions of the revision work was the clear description of the differences between CCPs, oPRPs and PRPs, as closely as possible in accordance with the definitions set out in the Codex. Preventive programs (PRPs) control the basic requirements and activities within the company and along the food chain for maintaining food safety. Preventive programs are not selected to control certain identified hazards. They vary depending on where the company operates in the food chain and range from GMP (good manufacturing practice) and GHP (good hygiene practice) to GAP (good agricultural practice) or GTP (good commercial practice).


Measures to control

By introducing control measures, which are identified as necessary in the context of the hazard analysis, it is important to avoid significant health hazards from food or to reduce these to an acceptable level. It is interesting that the new ISO 22000 no longer assumes the elimination of a hazard, but only speaks of a reduction or avoidance of it. As a matter of principle, organizations are introduced to a new understanding of the term “risk”. In addition to the known operational risks associated with HACCP, business risks are presented at the management system level, which are also associated with opportunities.

The distinction between hazards and significant hazards is also new. A control measure is identified as part of the hazard analysis and can be implemented either through a critical control point (CCP) or an operational preventive program (oPRP). In both cases it may be possible to avoid a significant health hazard from food or to reduce it to an acceptable level. The big difference between a CCP and a PRP, however, is that a critical limit must be adhered to at a CCP in order to guarantee a safe product. If the parameters of the critical limit value are not met, the food must be classified as a potentially unsafe product and must also be treated as such. An oPRP, on the other hand, is subject to a measurable or merely observable action criterion that decides whether the oPRP is under control or not; in the event of non-compliance with the action criterion, appropriate action must be taken after determining the consequences of this failure with regard to food safety; however, non-compliance does not necessarily mean that the product is potentially unsafe.