6 Checklists for Meticulous Evaluation of FSSC 22000 Compliance

fssc-22000-checklists

Taking the appropriate measures to ensure products we come into close contact with are clean & safe is now more important than ever, and there is nothing we come into closer contact with than food.

If you are in the food manufacturing, farming, processing, packaging, catering, or another food-related industry, a robust, well-documented Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is essential to maintaining a strong position in the market.

Of course, strict regulations that make sure the food we ingest is safe is nothing new. In the US, food safety regulations have been developed since the mid-1800s.

However, It was the worldwide implementation of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system in the early 90s that really kicked things off on a global scale. Since then, numerous kinds of schemes and certifications have been developed to monitor the industry more closely.

FSSC 22000 (and the resulting FSSC 22000 checklists) is one of the newest and most highly-respected of such schemes.

The FSSC 22000 system was designed to provide companies in the food industry with an ISO-based 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 and retailers.

“GFSI recognition demonstrates that the Scheme meets the highest standards globally leading to international food industry acceptance. Furthermore the Scheme is widely accepted by Accreditation Bodies worldwide and supported by important stakeholders like FoodDrinkEurope (FDE) and the Consumer Brands Association (CBA).” –  FSSC 22000 Scheme

Also, the fact that the scheme is ISO-based means that it integrates nicely with other management systems such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

In other words, FSSC 22000 certification is not only an internationally-recognized scheme that helps you improve market reach, food safety processes, and works great with ISO standards, but is also a powerful marketing tool.

“Statistics show that approximately 1 out of 4 certified companies are asking their suppliers to achieve certification. Chances are that if you have not been asked yet, you will be asked in the near future. Becoming certified can help you stay competitive and qualified towork with your current customers as well as to gain access to new ones.” – FSSC 22000 Quick Start Guide

In this post, Process Street is releasing a set of 6 FSSC 22000 checklist templates that will enable you to conduct meticulous internal audits and have an actionable, clear picture of everything that needs to be done in order to gain certification.

Click the links below to go to that section of the article:

If you’re just here for the checklists, here’s a taster of the free ones you’ll be getting!

Before we dive into the checklists proper, however, let’s take a quick look at a basic overview of what the steps are to gaining certification, and clarify where the checklists we have created fit into the process.

Overview of steps to gaining FSSC 22000 certification

  1. Gather all of the relevant documentation from the FSSC 22000 website
  2. Designate and train your FSSC 22000 food safety team leader
  3. Designate teams to design, document, and implement the required processes and food safety fundamentals
  4. Train your internal audit team
  5. Run your system, collect records, perform internal audits, management review, and food safety team meetings
  6. Make corrections and improvements to your system
  7. Schedule and complete external audits conducted by a licensed certification body

FSSC 22000: Process Street checklists that get you to the finish line

The FSSC 22000 checklists we have created are concerned with the second half of the certification process, in that they guide you through the process of performing internal audits, managing documentation and records, corrective action, and organizing external audits.

At this point, it’s important to understand that the FSSC 22000 scheme consists of three components:

  1. ISO 22000
  2. Sector-specific prerequisite programs (PRPs)
  3. FSSC 22000 specific requirements.

fssc-22000-components

The following checklists tackle each of the three.

The three ISO/TS checklists are PRPs for different sectors. ISO/TS 22002-1 is for food manufacturing companies, ISO/TS 22002-3 is for farming, and ISO/TS 22002-4 is for food packaging manufacturers.

The other three checklists will help you prepare for an ISO 22000 external audit, evaluate HACCP compliance, and evaluate general compliance with GFSI requirements as it relates to FSSC 22000.

If you want to go straight to the checklists, there are quick links right below. Otherwise, scroll down for a brief intro to each one and access other useful resources.

FSSC 22000 Checklists: GFSI Compliance Checklist

GFSI is a business-driven initiative for the development of food safety management systems to ensure food facilities are processing safe food for consumers.

“The GFSI criterion provides a universal gold-standard of recognition to specific food safety audits. In practice, this means that 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.” – What is GFSI?, Safe Food Alliance

This checklist guides you through the entire certification process from obtaining FSSC 22000 scheme documents to organizing an external audit to receive a certification decision.

Click here to get the GFSI Compliance Checklist!

FSSC 22000 Checklists: HACCP Compliance Checklist

HACCP is an internationally recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food.

The system requires that potential hazards are identified and controlled at specific points in the process. This includes:

  • Biological – hazard involving harmful bacteria
  • Chemical – hazard involving chemical contamination
  • Physical – hazard involving objects getting into food

HACCP is an essential component of the ISO 22000 standard, which is a requirement for FSSC 22000 certification.

If you have never created a HACCP plan before, we recommend starting with our HACCP Process Checklist, which takes you through the various stages for creating a plan.

This checklist, on the other hand, is designed for organizations that may already have a HACCP plan in place, and are conducting a periodic evaluation to verify continued compliance.

Click here to get the HACCP Compliance Checklist!

FSSC 22000: ISO 22000 Audit Preparation Checklist

ISO 22000 specifies the requirements to plan, implement, operate, maintain, and update a documented food safety management system.

It is, in a sense, the titan of FSMS.

This in turn means that the ISO 22000 standard is long, complex, and requires significant time and resources (both internal and external) to ensure full compliance.

It should be noted that this checklist does not cover every aspect of ISO 22000 certification, that is to say, clauses 4-8, in full detail. Rather, it is designed to take you through all general requirements. We highly recommend seeking out expert assistance to guide you through the entire certification process.

With that said, completing this checklist will put you in a great position when preparing for an external audit.

The checklist covers:

  • Company data
  • Team management
  • Document management
  • Management review
  • Customer requirements & communication
  • Training
  • Continual improvement
  • Multi-site certification (if applicable)

At the start of the checklist, you will be asked whether or not you are looking to have multiple locations ISO 22000 certified. If you select “Yes”, our conditional logic feature will present you with a set of additional tasks that must be completed.

Click here to get the ISO 22000 Audit Preparation Checklist!

FSSC 22000 Checklists: ISO/TS 22002-1 Internal Audit Checklist

This is the first of three checklist templates concerned with the PRP requirement necessary for FSSC 22000 certification.

FSSC 22000 requires that the organization establishes PRP programs to control the likelihood of introducing contamination through the work environment.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, there are different PRP requirements depending on your industry:

  • ISO/TS 22002-1 – Food Manufacturing
  • ISO/TS 22002-3 – Farming
  • ISO/TS 22002-4 – Food Packaging Manufacturing

“ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size or complexity, which are involved in the manufacturing step of the food chain and wish to implement PRP in such a way as to address the requirements specified in ISO 22000:2005, Clause 7.” – ISO/TS 22002-1:2009

This is a comprehensive checklist that takes you through every component of ISO/TS 22002-1.

However, it should be noted that the standard leaves the responsibility for developing the details of the program to the organization; it does not give specific requirements for the pest control program, for example. It asks you as the organization to determine what is appropriate for your organization.

Bearing in mind that not every requirement is clearly stated, it is essential for your team to be incredibly diligent during the internal audit process, and consider seeking expert assistance from external sources.

Click here to get the ISO/TS 22002-1 Internal Audit Checklist!

FSSC 22000 Checklists: ISO/TS 22002-3 Internal Audit Checklist

This is the second of the three PRP checklist templates, applicable to all organizations (including individual farms or groups of farms), regardless of size or complexity, which are involved in farming steps of the food chain.

ISO/TS 22002-3:2011 is applicable to the farming of crops (e.g. cereals, fruits, vegetables), living farm animals (e.g. cattle, poultry, pigs, fish) and the handling of their products (e.g. milk, eggs). It is not applicable to activities such as picking of wild fruits, vegetables, fishing, or hunting, which are not considered to be organized farming activities.

“Farming operations are diverse in nature according to size, type of products, production methods, geographical and biological environment, related statutory and regulatory requirements etc. Therefore, the need, intensity and nature of PRPs will differ between organizations.” – ISO/TS 22002-3:2011

Considering the great variety in farming operations, much of which are not applicable to ISO/TS 22002-3, its essential that you do your research before beginning the checklist to gain a full understanding of what applies to your organization.

Click here to get the ISO/TS 22002-3 Internal Audit Checklist!

FSSC 22000 Checklists: ISO/TS 22002-4 Internal Audit Checklist

This is the third and final PRP checklist template, applicable to food packaging manufacturers.

As is the case with the other two standards respective of their industry, ISO/TS 22002-4 has been developed to be used in conjunction with ISO 22000, and therefore all food packaging manufacturing organizations that are seeking GFSI recognized certification to FSSC 22000 will receive assessment against ISO/TS 22002-4 in addition to ISO 22000.

“Applicable to all food packaging manufacturing organizations, regardless of size or complexity of operations, it is expected that ISO/TS 22002-4 will be quickly adopted by the industry as a further safeguard in the food supply chain.” – Lloyd’s Register

Click here to get the ISO/TS 22002-4 Internal Audit Checklist!

Perform superior FSSC 22000 audits with our approvals feature

With our fantastic approvals feature, you can streamline the completion of any tasks that need authorization by another person.

A large number of approval tasks have been built into the templates above, including the following:

  • GFSI Compliance Checklist
    • Task 6 – FSSC scheme
    • Task 10 – Internal audit complete
    • Task 17 – Ready for external audit
    • Task 23 – Non-conformities
    • Task 27 – Corrective action plan
  • HACCP Compliance Checklist
    • Task 11 – Hazard analysis
    • Task 16 – Critical control points
    • Task 20 – Monitoring procedures
    • Task 24 – Corrective action
    • Task 28 – Verification procedures
  • ISO 22000 Audit Preparation Checklist
    • Task 9 – Team organization & communication
    • Task 13 – Document management
    • Task 16 – Management review completed
    • Task 21 – Customer relations
    • Task 25 – Training
    • Task 28 – Continual improvement plan
  • Creating your own approval tasks is super simple. Here is a quick overview of how to do so.

    To add an approval task, click on the approvals button on the bottom left-hand bar within the template editor, where tasks and task headers are usually added.

    Once the approval task has been put in, you can then select which tasks are subject to approval.

    adding approvals

    After the tasks that are subject to approval have been completed, the assigned decision-maker can then open the checklist, see the information from the tasks, then either approve, reject, or reject with a comment.

    With approvals, it’s not just a case of flat-out acceptance or rejection; comments can be sent to the submitter to provide the feedback necessary for the task’s completion.

    You can approve (or reject) tasks directly from your phone

    What’s even quicker than approving or rejecting items from a browser on your laptop is doing it via your phone’s email app.

    This enables you to make important decisions while on the go, no matter if you’re walking to an important meeting, or in a cab on your way to catch a flight.

    phone approval

    4 key benefits of Process Street’s approvals feature

    Here are four of the biggest benefits our approval feature can bring to your organization:

    1. Ensures critical tasks receive the necessary oversight.
    2. Managers and higher-ups can approve items and tasks quickly.
    3. Approval tasks can be used alongside pre-existing task features (e.g. conditional logic, dynamic due dates, task permissions)
    4. Fosters inter and cross-team collaboration.

    With all the above benefits in mind, why not upgrade to the Professional pricing plan today and harness the power of a simplified approval flow yourself?

    Other useful resources for establishing a first-class FSMS

    Here is a list of articles that are related to FSSC 22000, ISO 22000, and FSMS in general. All of them are well worth a read.

    Is your business FSSC 22000 certified? Are you currently on the path to certification looking for guidance wherever possible? If you have any thoughts on the templates presented here, or would like to share any tips and tricks you have through experience with the certification process, please comment below. 💡

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    Alex Gallia

    Alex is a content writer at Process Street who enjoys traveling, reading, meditating, and is almost always listening to jazz or techno. You can find him on LinkedIn here


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