Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) 22000 is a globally recognized certification scheme that ensures the safety and quality of food products throughout the supply chain. This ISO-based certification scheme was developed by the Foundation FSSC. The FSSC 22000 scheme is aligned with the ISO management standards and structure for food safety management systems. It is also consistent with other standards, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Compliance with FSSC 22000 standards demonstrates your commitment to food safety, giving you a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Thus, FSSC audit checklists are a crucial tool in implementing effective food management systems and meeting the requirements of this comprehensive certification scheme.
Let’s dive into an overview of the FSSC 22000 standard, the recent version 6 changes, and the FSSC audit checklists you need to ensure compliance.
- FSSC 22000 Standard and its Importance in the Food Industry
- What are the Key Changes in FSSC 22000 Version 6?
- Key Components of FSSC 22000 Version 6 Checklists
- How to Prepare for External Audits: A Guide to Using FSSC 22000 Audit Checklists
- Free FSSC 22000 Checklists
- Other Food Safety & Inspection Checklists
- Streamline FSSC Audits with GoAudits Food Safety Software
FSSC 22000 Standard and its Importance in the Food Industry
The FSSC 22000 scheme is a comprehensive set of requirements that cover all aspects of food safety management, from raw material sourcing and production to distribution and consumption.
To obtain FSSC 22000 certification, you must undergo regular FSSC audits by an accredited certification body. An FSSC audit is an independent assessment of a food safety management system (FSMS) against the requirements of the FSSC 22000 standard. The audit will assess the food safety management system of your food business against the requirements of the FSSC 22000 standard. If your business meets all of the requirements, it will be issued with an FSSC 22000 certificate.
Here’s why FSSC 22000 holds such significance in the food industry:
- Enhanced Food Safety
FSSC 22000 provides a robust framework for identifying, controlling, and mitigating food safety hazards throughout your operations. By implementing its rigorous standards, you minimize the risk of contamination, spoilage, and product recalls, safeguarding your consumers and upholding their trust in your brand.
- Compliance with Regulations
Many countries and major retailers demand compliance with FSSC 22000 or equivalent food safety standards. Achieving FSSC 22000 certification demonstrates your commitment to meeting regulatory requirements and industry best practices, giving you a competitive advantage in both local and international markets.
- Global Recognition and Acceptance
FSSC 22000 is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a widely respected organization that sets benchmarks for food safety standards. It ensures that your FSSC 22000 certification is accepted and valued by customers and regulatory authorities worldwide.
- Improved Efficiency and Cost Savings
By implementing FSSC 22000, you streamline your food safety management processes, reducing the likelihood of costly product recalls, rework, and downtime. It increases operational efficiency and significant cost savings in the long run.
- Enhanced Brand Reputation
Consumers increasingly seek out products from companies that prioritize food safety and transparency. Achieving FSSC 22000 certification showcases your commitment to these values, boosting your brand reputation and fostering customer loyalty.
What are the Key Changes in FSSC 22000 Version 6?
FSSC 22000 Version 6 is the latest version of the globally accepted certification scheme. However, it’s still based on the ISO 22000 standard. The Foundation FSSC published Version 6 of the FSSC 22000 scheme in March 2023. FSSC audits that take place after April 1, 2024, will be in compliance with FSSC version 6. Moreover, all certified organizations must complete the upgrade to FSSC Version 6 before March 31, 2025.
There were several reasons for updating the FSSC 22000 standard to version 6. These include the following:
- Integrating the requirements of ISO 22003-1:2022
- Supporting organizations in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by strengthening the requirements
- Incorporating feedback from the Version 6 development survey, which received almost 2,000 responses
A 12-month transition window has been allowed for organizations to prepare for FSSC 22000 Version 6. Certification bodies are also allowed this transition window to prepare for gaining accreditation.
Here’s an overview of the main changes in FSSC 22000 version 6:
- Food chain categories are realigned in accordance with ISO 22003-1:2022
- Trading and Brokering (FII) has been added to the scope of the FSSC scheme
- Farming and FSSC 22000-Quality has been removed from the scope of the scheme
- The requirements for food safety and quality culture have been integrated
- New requirements are included for quality control, food loss and waste, and equipment management
- Strengthened existing additional requirements for allergen management, environmental monitoring, etc.
- Changes to the certification process requirements
- Addition of a QR code on FSSC 22000 certificates to improve traceability
Key Components of FSSC 22000 Version 6 Checklists
The latest version of FSSC 22000 standards – FSSC Version 6 – highlights several key components that should be included in all FSSC audit checklists.
|Food manufacturing and packaging
|Ensuring safety and quality standards in production processes, conforming to ISO 22000 and relevant PRP specifications.
|Compliance with food safety regulations in catering services, covering handling, preparation, and serving of food.
|Strategies and protocols to protect food from intentional contamination.
|Food Fraud Mitigation
|Measures to prevent fraudulent practices in food production and supply chains.
|Food Loss and Waste
|Protocols addressing reduction and management of food wastage throughout production and distribution.
|Food Safety and Quality Culture
|Establishing a culture that prioritizes food safety and quality across the organization.
|Transport Tank Cleaning
|Protocols for cleaning and maintaining transport containers to prevent contamination during food transportation.
|Pre-process handling of plant products
|Ensuring hygiene and safety in the initial stages of handling plant-based products.
|Trading, retail, wholesale, and e-commerce
|Addressing food safety across various selling platforms and distribution channels.
|Production of biochemicals
|Ensuring safety and quality standards in the production of biochemical products.
|Animal feed production
|Complying with safety measures in the production of animal feed.
|Protocols for maintenance and sanitation of equipment used in food production.
How to Prepare for External Audits: A Guide to Using FSSC 22000 Audit Checklists
You can use these comprehensive FSSC audit checklists to thoroughly evaluate your internal processes. Eventually, you’ll be able to successfully pass the external audits and achieve certification.
Let’s dive into how you can use FSSC 22000 checklists for audits.
- Establish clear expectations, timelines, and the scope of the FSSC audit.
- Use FSSC 22000 audit checklists specifically designed for the version of the standard you’re auditing against, such as FSSC 22000 version 6.
- Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the audit team members performing the internal audit.
- Thoroughly examine the food safety management system documentation, including policies, procedures, and records.
- Prepare the necessary documentation, such as audit plans, schedules, and communication logs, to facilitate a smooth audit process.
Conducting the Internal Audit
- Systematically go through the FSSC 22000 checklist items, gathering evidence through interviews, observations, and document reviews.
- Conduct a thorough inspection of the food business premises, paying close attention to production areas, storage facilities, and hygiene practices.
- Scrutinize relevant documentation, including food safety plans, procedures, records, and corrective actions, to ensure compliance with FSSC 22000 standards.
- Record any non-conformities or potential areas for improvement in a clear and concise manner.
- Discuss progress, findings, and any adjustments needed to the FSSC audit plan.
- Compile a comprehensive audit report that details the audit findings, non-conformities, and recommendations for corrective actions.
- Develop a corrective action plan that outlines the steps to address non-conformities and achieve compliance.
- Conduct follow-up audits or assessments to verify the effective implementation of corrective actions and sustained compliance with FSSC 22000 standards.
Free FSSC 22000 Checklists
Downloading these free ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 audit checklists from GoAudits is a proactive step toward conducting thorough audits and ensuring compliance with industry-leading food safety standards. The FSSC scheme is based on the three components listed below:
- ISO 22000:2018
- Prerequisite Programmes (PRP)
- FSSC Additional Requirements
The FSSC 22000 scheme was recognized by the GFSI in February 2010, while it was endorsed as a sub-scope of the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) since March 2021.
FSSC 22000 Version 5 Audit Checklist
This FSSC 22000 Version 5 Audit Checklist serves as a robust tool for conducting meticulous food safety audits, ensuring that your organization meets all the necessary requirements and regulations. With this FSSC audit checklist, you can confidently assess various aspects of your food safety management system, including the following:
- Product labeling
- Locations of establishments
- Potential threats to food safety
- Facility’s structures and fittings
- Waste management and disposal
- Pest control
- Allergen management
- Temperature control and monitoring equipment
- Microbiological cross-contamination
- Harbourage and infestations
- Personal hygiene
ISO 22000 Food Safety Checklist (FSMS)
This ISO 22000 Food Safety Checklist (FSMS) provides a comprehensive framework for assessing your organization’s compliance with ISO 22000 standards. You can use this checklist to conduct effective internal inspections and prepare for certification audits with confidence.
Key areas covered in this checklist include the following:
- Waste disposal
- Management of purchased material and ingredients
- Prevention of cross-contamination
- Personnel training and supervision
- Construction and layout of buildings
- Equipment suitability, cleaning, and maintenance
- Pest control
- Personnel hygiene
- Product recall procedures
- Food defense, biovigilance and bioterrorism
Other Food Safety & Inspection Checklists
The FSSC 22000 audit checklists listed above are among the few you can access from GoAudits’ library of food safety checklists.
Here are some additional examples of food safety checklists you get with the GoAudits food safety software.
- HACCP Checklists
- Food Safety & Hygiene Checklist
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Checklist
- Food Manufacturing SOP
- SQFI Manufacturing of Food Packaging Checklist
- Kitchen Equipment Maintenance Checklist
- BRC Audit Checklists
- SQFI Food Manufacturing Audit Checklist
- Food Fraud Inspection
Streamline FSSC Audits with GoAudits Food Safety Software
GoAudits food safety software simplifies your FSSC audits. No more paperwork headaches or administrative hurdles. GoAudits streamlines FSSC 22000 compliance, freeing up your time to focus on tackling food safety risks. GoAudits ensures smoother audits, certification success, and efficiency.
Quick Mobile Inspections
Streamline your auditing process by capturing essential details directly in the field with mobile inspections. Document findings with ease using photos, annotations, and comments, eliminating the hassles of paper-based forms. Enjoy full functionality offline across all mobile devices and computers.
Instant Reports & Analytical Insights
Experience the convenience of instantly generated, professional reports that provide a comprehensive overview of assessments. Identify underlying trends, recurring weaknesses, or potential risks with advanced analytics.
Efficient Issue & Task Tracking
Act promptly on identified issues by logging them immediately and assigning follow-up tasks to the relevant stakeholders. Track the progress of resolutions through an interactive dashboard, ensuring accountability and evidence of actions taken.
Efficient Food Safety & Quality Inspections
Digitize your internal audits including hygiene, process and quality reviews, restaurant visits, kitchen inspections, and health & safety checks. Monitor compliance with HACCP, BRC, and ISO food safety standards, using standardized checklists for up to 5x faster inspections. You can easily customize our existing checklist templates to your organization’s needs with our Admin portal. Alternatively, we can help you upload your existing food safety inspection checklists – at no cost.
Document & Resolve Issues Quicker
Eliminate the complexity of paper forms and spreadsheets. Simplify documentation processes to proactively identify and address issues efficiently. Assign follow-up actions effortlessly on the spot, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.
Unparalleled Visibility & Transparency
Gain 100% visibility across all operations and sites. Uncover critical insights behind the data with trend reports and drill-down dashboards in real-time. Identify recurring issues, track actions, and make informed decisions to enhance food standards and service levels.
With GoAudits, experience a system that not only streamlines FSSC audits but also provides the agility to adapt and customize FSSC 22000 audit checklists effortlessly.
Try the GoAudits Food Safety Software for FREE
It’s easy to get started with GoAudits! Sign up for a free 14-day trial (we even digitize your checklists for free!). Or even better: book a demo with one of our experts!