Introduction:

Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 is the world’s leading, independently managed, non-profit food certification scheme for ISO 22000-based certification of food safety management systems.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a private organization that oversees and approves different auditing platforms, such as FSSC 22000, as meeting their criteria. This criterion provides a universal gold-standard of recognition to specific food safety audits.

"A food processor or manufacturer who can point to their GFSI certification can effectively and immediately show their customers and potential customers that their plant is operating with a structured, comprehensive, and effective food safety program." - Safe Food Alliance

The FSSC 22000 scheme is intended for the audit and certification of the food safety system of organizations in the food supply chain that process or manufacture:

  • Perishable animal products (i.e. meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish products).
  • Perishable vegetable products (i.e. fresh fruits and fresh juices, preserved fruits, fresh
    vegetables, preserved vegetables).
  • Products with long shelf life at ambient temperature (i.e. canned products, biscuits, snacks, oil, drinking water, beverages, pasta, flour, sugar, salt).
  • (Bio)chemical products for food manufacturing (i.e. vitamin additives and bio-cultures) but excluding technical and technological aids.
  • Food packaging material manufacturing.
  • Animal feed.

This checklist will guide you through the certification process from obtaining scheme documents to organizing an external audit to receive a certification decision.

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Enter basic details

To get things started, enter basic details including the company name, location, and the project leader. 


FSSC scheme requirements:

Obtain a copy of the FSSC scheme requirements

FSSC 22000 scheme documentation can be accessed from the link below:

https://www.fssc22000.com/scheme/scheme-documents/

Downloading the documentation relevant to your organization is the first step on the road to gaining certification. 

Once downloaded, you can upload the documents right here for easy reference.

A short video outlining the steps involved in gaining FSSC 22000 certification

Carefully review the requirements

Carefully read through all of the requirements and get a good understanding of what to look out for when conducting the next big step - an internal audit/gap analysis.

In the form field below, note down important areas of focus (e.g. sanitization, waste disposal systems, management of purchased materials)

Approval: FSSC scheme

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Obtain a copy of the FSSC scheme requirements
    Will be submitted
  • Carefully review the requirements
    Will be submitted

Internal audit:

Perform an internal audit

Now that you have obtained a copy of the FSSC scheme requirements, understood what is required and recorded important areas of focus, it is time to conduct an internal audit/gap analysis to have a clear picture of where you stand, and what needs to be done in order to gain certification.

For this purpose, we have created 3 FSSC 22000 internal audit checklists

You can access the templates from the links below:

  1. FSSC 22000: ISO/TS 22002-1 Internal Audit Checklist (Food processing)
  2. FSSC 22000: ISO/TS 22002-3 Internal Audit Checklist (Farming)
  3. FSSC 22000: ISO/TS 22002-4 Internal Audit Checklist (Food packaging manufacturing)

Once you have started running an internal audit checklist, enter the link below for easy reference.

There is also a file upload form field below if you would like to include any offline audit documentation.

Determine compliance requirements

Following the completion of an internal audit (checklist link below), you need to determine which specific requirements you need to meet and the action items that are required in order to demonstrate full compliance when the external audit is performed. 

Checklist link: {{form.Internal_audit_checklist}}

Approval: Internal audit complete

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Perform an internal audit
    Will be submitted
  • Determine compliance requirements
    Will be submitted

FSSC certification body:

Select an FSSC-licensed certification body

There are 128 certified certification bodies across the world. 

Access the full list from the link below and select one organization that will conduct the external audit.

Once selected, enter their details in the form fields below

Certification bodies: https://www.fssc22000.com/partners/certification-bodies/

Enter details of main contact

Enter the details of your main contact at the certification body who is leading their side of the process.

This way they can collaborate with you within the checklist and be involved in seeing through the completion of the remaining tasks. 

Initial audit (Stage 1):

Evaluate compliance with FSMA regulations

In April 2020, FSSC 22000 published a press release on their website detailing how they had revised their  Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) addendum.

"With the publication of FSSC 22000 Version 5, and the revision of ISO 22000: 2018, FSSC 22000 has produced a new FSSC 22000 Version 5 FSMA PCHF addendum. The role of the addendum is to help companies understand how they can integrate the requirements of the US FDA FSMA regulations into their FSSC 22000 Food Safety Management system, and use the FSSC 22000 risk-based audit as a means of sharing information relating to the control of hazards up and down the supply chain, enhancing transparency and contributing to compliance." - FSSC 22000

To learn more about FSMA - read this article.

Gather all of the appropriate documentation and perform an internal audit to determine if you are fully compliant with FSMA regulations.

Summarize the gap analysis in the form field below so that you can better evaluate your preparedness for an external audit. 

Evaluate preparedness for external audit

Check off each category for FSSC 22000 certification when you feel confident and have strong evidence to show that they are fully compliant with FSSC 22000 requirements.

  • 1
    Construction & layout of buildings
  • 2
    Workspace
  • 3
    Utilities
  • 4
    Waste disposal
  • 5
    Equipment, cleaning & maintenance
  • 6
    Purchased materials
  • 7
    Prevention of cross-contamination
  • 8
    Cleaning & sanitizing
  • 9
    Pest control
  • 10
    Personnel hygiene
  • 11
    Rework
  • 12
    Warehousing

Approval: Ready for external audit

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Evaluate compliance with FSMA regulations
    Will be submitted
  • Evaluate preparedness for external audit
    Will be submitted

Initial audit (Stage 2):

Evaluate implementation effectiveness of the FSMS

Its time for the certification body to lead an external audit, in which your organization/facility will be reviewed for compliance FSSC 22000 requirements.

In the form field below, summarize how the audit went.

The next step will be to have a closing meeting in which non-conformities (if identified) will be discussed and require the creation and implementation of a corrective action plan.

Closing meeting:

Confirm any non-conformities

Following the external audit, if there were any non-conformities that were identified, you’ll need to address the initial audit inspection corrections and corrective actions.

Then, if done to the expected standards, the certification body will assess the corrections and corrective action evidence through documented evidence or will revisit.

Your success in addressing the issues must be documented.

Detail non-conformities

In the form field below, provide a clear summary of the non-conformities.

You also link to and/or upload relevant documentation. 

Approval: Non-conformities

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Detail non-conformities
    Will be submitted

Corrective action:

Create a corrective action plan

Create a corrective action plan to address the non-conformities that were identified during the initial audit and discussed during the closing meeting. 

Non-conformities: {{form.Summary_of_non-conformities}}

Link: {{form.Non-conformities_(link)}}

File: {{form.Non-conformities_(file)}}

Approval: Corrective action plan

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Create a corrective action plan
    Will be submitted

Submit the corrective action plan

Submit your corrective action plan to the certification body so they can verify it.

Record the date of submission below. 

Certification review:

Complete independent certification review

Following the implementation of the corrective action plan, its time for the certification body to conduct an additional audit to review the corrections and finalize that the requirements are now being met. 

Log the date that the certification review was completed.

Receive certification decision

If everything has gone right and the certification body is satisfied, you will be approved and granted FSSC 22000 certification! 

Log the decision in the form field below

Confirm details for ongoing surveillance audits

Confirm details for ongoing surveillance audits.

Sources:

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