Outcome of the 2018 ISO 22000 meeting in Bordeaux

The ISO TC34 SC17, in charge of the ISO 22000 family, held its yearly meeting in Bordeaux from 1st to 5th October 2018. Dr Didier Blanc, international expert in this committee since 2001 and Director of ViaSyst, participated actively to the various debates and working groups. You’ll find in this ViaSyst News a summary of the major outcomes of the meeting.

The new version of the core standard of the family, ISO 22000, being achieved and imminently published, the work concentrated on related standards, i.e. the 22002 series and 22003.

Beside the meeting work, the side discussions during breaks allowed ViaSyst to deepen contact with current and potential users within scheme owners (FAMI-QS), major industrial groups (e.g. Danone, Cargill, Lactalis, Chr. Hansen) or CBs (e.g. BV, ProSanitas, BQC).

Towards harmonization & common structure and text within the ISO 22002 series

Didier Blanc had been appointed during the 2017 meeting to convene a task force dedicated to analyzing the structure and text of the current parts of the ISO 22002 series, and to propose possible ways for improvement.

The results demonstrated evidence of wide overlaps within topics, summary and requirements, with very few sector specific requirements. Thus, the way forward proposed by Didier Blanc consisting in developing a common structure with common harmonized summary, wording and text for all generic PRPs has been unanimously accepted.

The new approach will be to elaborate the common structure with harmonized summary and common text, to be used as starting point for redeveloping each part of the 22002 series (with a similar approach as the High Level Structure (HLS) which has been adopted by all ISO management systems standards).

In order to allow the ongoing work on developing the 22002-5 dedicated to transport and storage to benefit of this approach and to align consistently, a first draft will be produced within the next 6 months.

Breakthrough approach for broadening the ISO 22003 scope to any food safety system

Currently, food safety systems including management system requirements may be certified under accreditation either against ISO 17065 (product certification) or under ISO 17021-1 + ISO 22003 (management system certification). This is in particular the case for the GFSI benchmarked food safety systems.

However, the issue is that the requirements of these two sets of accreditation standards are not equivalent and consistent, with significant discrepancies within core aspects like auditor competence, audit cycle and audit process.

After robust discussions throughout the 5 days of the meeting, SC17 decided to circulate as committee internal ballot the recommendation to broaden the scope of the ongoing ISO 22003 revision for covering both ISO 17065 and ISO 17021-1 + 22003 food safety systems, providing harmonized and consistent requirements for all of them.

This breakthrough approach will significantly enhance consistence, acceptance and credibility of certification of food safety systems. It will also simplify the work of accreditation and certification bodies.

Results of this ballot are expected by the end of the year. A next meeting within the ISO 22003 revision process has been scheduled for February 2019.

For any question or follow-up on these major topics within the ISO 22000 family, please contact info@viasyst.com

ViaSyst Team.