Photo: Maria Lazarte
For food or beverage manufacturers, safety is a vital concern of the business, but ensuring that individual food safety management systems fulfil on global best practices is a tough challenge.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has now published a new standard to help food and beverage manufacturers with just this task. The new ISO 22004 standard is part of the ISO 22000 family of standards (ISO 22000 is the International Standard for food safety management). It helps companies sift through the confusion of acronyms and terminology, and provides a companion and a guide to ISO 22000.
According to Claus Heggum, co-convenor of the working group that developed the standard, ISO 22004 just makes things easier. “Say you are designing a food control system and are struggling on how to categorise the different control measures you have at your disposal in your hazard control programme, ISO 22004 will help you to differentiate between PRPs, OPRPs and CCPs, which is not always easy to do!”
The parent standard, ISO 22000, gives companies all they need to set up a food safety management system, while ISO 22004 goes into more detail and focuses on areas that may need more explanation. It doesn’t add any new requirements.
According to Heggum, with ISO 22004, companies will learn that typical PRP measures include basic precautions such as washing hands, keeping the processing area tidy or a basic cleaning programme. CCPs on the other hand are the most important and efficient hazard reduction measures, like a cooking or heating step that kills bacteria. And, an OPRP is an in-between safety measure, like cold storage.
“There is much more that you can learn from ISO 22004, like understanding the difference between monitoring, verification and validation,” said Heggum. “ISO 22004 will make it easier for users to apply and adapt ISO 22000 to their own specific contexts.”
ISO – the International Organization for Standardization is an independent, non-governmental membership organisation and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019