How to Achieve FSSC 22000 Version 5 Certification – 7 Steps

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Below are a series of steps one would need to follow when intending to achieve FSSC 22000 Version 5.  Please read through the steps to fully understand how one can achieve FSSC 22000 certification.

STEP 1: Understand What FSSC 22000 Is

The Foundation Food Safety System Certification 22000 offers a complete certification Scheme for the auditing and certification of Food Safety and/or Quality Management Systems. The Scheme makes use of international and independent standards such as ISO 22000, ISO 9001, ISO/TS 22003 and technical specifications for sector-specific Pre-requisite Programs (PRPs), such as ISO/TS 22002-1 for the food industry. FSSC 22000 is made up ISO 22000: 2018, ISO Technical Standard depending on the sector and FSSC 22000 Additional requirements.

The FSSC 22000 System was designed to provide companies in the food industry with an ISO-based international food safety management system certification that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Recognition by GFSI provides worldwide recognition and acceptance by food manufacturers, customers and retailers.

STEP 2: Select Your FSSC 22000 Sector

FSSC 22000 uses the technical standards below in conjunction with ISO 22000: 2018. It is important to determine the technical standard your organisation will be using. Below are the list of ISO Technical standards:

  • ISO/TS 22002-1:2009, Food manufacturing
  • ISO/TS 22002-2:2013, Catering
  • ISO/TS 22002-3:2011, Farming
  • ISO/TS 22002-4:2013, Food packaging manufacturing
  • ISO/TS 22002-6:2016, Feed and animal food production
  • PAS 221:2013, Retail/supermarkets
  • NEN/NTA 8059:2016, Transport and storage (ISO 22002-5 in Oct 19).

STEP 3: Complying With Additional FSSC 22000 Requirements

After determining the technical standard for your company you will also need to comply with the additional requirements to attain the FSSC 22000 Certification.

The additional FSSC Requirements are listed below:

  1. MANAGEMENT OF SERVICES
  2. PRODUCT LABELLING
  3. FOOD DEFENCE – THREAT ASSESSMENT
  4. FOOD FRAUD MITIGATION
  5. LOGO USE
  6. MANAGEMENT OF ALLERGENS (FOOD CHAIN CATEGORIES C, E, FI, G, I & K)
  7. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING (FOOD CHAIN CATEGORIES C, I & K)
  8. FORMULATION OF PRODUCTS (FOOD CHAIN CATEGORY D)
  9. TRANSPORT AND DELIVERY (FOOD CHAIN CATEGORY)

STEP 4: Selecting a Certification Body in South Africa

After the implementation of the above Standards and complying with customer requirements and South African laws and Standards, the organisation can then start the process of applying for an audit. An organisation will need to contact certification bodies that are accredited to conduct FSSC 22000 certification.

The following FSSC 22000 Certification bodies are present in South Africa:

  • BSI Group
  • NSF
  • Intertek
  • SGS
  • QsCertSABS
  • Bureau Veritas
  • SAACB
  • TUV-SUD
  • ISO-Certification

There are many more that may have not been listed above.

STEP 5: Understand the FSSC Certification Audit Process

It is important to comply with all certification requirements before an organisation apply for FSSC 22000 certification.

The steps below explain the FSSC 22000 certification process:

5. Initial Certification Audit

For the initial certification audit, the applicant organization shall book a date that should be mutually convenient with the certification body.
The organization shall ensure it has all the required documents, has sufficient staff members and all operations and processes to be audited are in full operation on the day of the audit.

5.1 The two Stages for the FSSC 22000 Audit

The initial auditing for certification is always carried out at the production site of the applicant organization and is conducted in two separate stages: stage 1 and stage 2 audit. The date of the stage 1 and stage 2 audit should be mutually convenient for both the Certification Body and applicant organization.

5.1.1 Stage 1

The Stage 1 audit verifies that the system has been designed and developed in accordance with the FSSC 22000 Standard requirements, the organisation’s own internal documents and the country’s laws and regulations. It is required that the organisation should have at least 6 months’ worth of verifiable records and must be in operation when the audit takes place.

The main objective of this audit is to assess the preparedness of the applicant organization to proceed to the stage 2 audit. The auditor will scheme through documentation and visit the site where processes take place. No findings will be issued just areas of concern, which would be categorised as Major or Minor areas of concerns. The applicant has up to 6 months to fix these areas of concern.

5.1.2 Stage 2

As per FSSC 22000 Scheme “the Stage 2 audit substantiates top management’s claim by auditing implementation of the food safety management system. The activities subject to the proposed certification scopes shall be assessed during the initial certification audit”. The site must be in full operation when the audit takes place.

This audit must take place within 6 months of the initial stage 1 audit and the applicant will be issued with either Minor, Major or Critical findings. In the case of Major and Critical findings, the certificate will not be issued until these are closed off. A critical finding means an immediate fail and the audit can therefore not proceed. If it does proceed, it becomes a GAP Assessment.

STEP 6: Certificate Issue

Provided that all findings have been closed off to the satisfaction of the auditor, the Certification Body shall then issue a certificate. This certificate must be issued within 30 days once the audit outcome has been endorsed. The certificate expires three years after the date of the initial certification decision but there will be annual surveillance audits.

STEP 7: Surveillance Audits

After the certification is issued, there shall be surveillance audits annually within the three-year cycle of which at least one must be unannounced. These surveillance audits will still be full audits and are not necessarily different from the other audits. At the end of the audit cycle, the organisation will need to then apply for recertification.

Should you want to implement FSSC 22000 in your organisation please contact ASC CONSULTANTS on 041 101 1006. We will be sure to help!


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