Q & A

1. What are the benefits of FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) 22000?
2. Why was the FSSC 22000 certification scheme developed?
3. What has been the feedback from the market?
4. Which sectors of the supply chain can be certified by FSSC 22000?
5. Which pre requisite programs define the scope of FSSC 22000?
6. What are the additional requirements of FSSC 22000?
7. How do I achieve certification against FSSC 22000?
8. Are there checklists that can be used for the audit?
9. What is the duration of an FSSC 22000 audit?
10. Why and how to switch from ISO 22000 to FSSC 22000 certification?
11. Use of the FSSC 22000 logo?
12. Is there interest from other sectors for FSSC 22000 certification?
13. I'd like to know more about FSSC 22000 - Q?
14. What are the transition periods for ISO standards linked to FSSC 22000?



1. What are the benefits of FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) 22000?

  • FSSC 22000 is a food safety management certification, which enables manufacturers to focus their food safety efforts on scientific and technical advances, and their audit resources on continuous improvement.
  • FSSC 22000 is owned and governed by a non profit foundation.
  • FSSC 22000 is governed by a Board of Stakeholders representing a range of relevant international sectors with an independent chair. This provides FSSC 22000 with an independence from any specific stakeholder and ensures international commitment.
  • FSSC 22000 is based on the international family of ISO 22000 standards:
    • it has global recognition and worldwide credibility;
    • it provides a common language, improving communication and food safety across the supply chain;
    • it provides a systematic management protocol for pre requisite programs (PRPs), with control focused on what is really necessary;
    • it provides confidence to other stakeholders of an organization?s ability to identify and control food safety hazards;
    • it provides sufficient flexibility to take specific and varied customer requirements into account.
  • FSSC 22000 is recognized by GFSI and accepted by ABs worldwide.


2. Why was the FSSC 22000 certification scheme developed?
  • FSSC 22000 was developed to facilitate broader acceptance of ISO 22000, and recognition by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
  • ISO 22000 alone is not recognized by the GFSI.
  • FSSC 22000 provides the certification scheme, the audit protocol, and the owner organization required to meet the GFSI benchmarking requirements.
  • FSSC 22000 is the name chosen for the sum of ISO 22000, the sector specific PRPs like ISO/TS 22002-1 and the additional requirements.


3. What has been the feedback from the market?
    Feedback has been very encouraging, a wide range of manufacturers and major (international) retailers have sought to achieve FSSC 22000 certification.
    FSSC 22000 is one of the fastest growing certification systems in the world.


4. Which sectors of the supply chain can be certified by FSSC 22000?
    FSSC 22000 is based on the existing international standards ISO 22000, ISO 22003 and PRPs: ISO/TS 22002-1, ISO/TS 22002-3, ISO/TS 22002-4 and PAS 222. The sectors that can be certified by FSSC 22000 are determined by the pre-defined ?scopes? and the sector specific prerequisite programs (PRPs) that are available. You can order these standards from ISO and/or BSI and use them together with the additional requirements of FSSC 22000 which can be found in the FSSC scheme documents and downloaded for free on www.fssc22000.com.


5. Which pre requisite programs define the scope of FSSC 22000?


6. What are the additional requirements of FSSC 22000?
    To meet the needs of the key stakeholders and to ensure an adequate control of food safety, additional specifications are required by the FSSC 22000 scheme. These include elaborations of the clauses in ISO 22000, technical specifications for sector PRPs and the additional requirements as laid down in Scheme Documents Part 1, Appendix IA:
    • Specifications for services
    • Supervision of personnel in application food safety principles.
    • Reference to specific regulatory requirements
    • Management of inputs
    • Management of natural resources such as water and soil regarding animal production
    • Food defense, biovigilance and bioterrorism
    The following document provides further information and guidance relating the additional requirements.


7. How do I achieve certification against FSSC 22000?
    The requirements for companies that seek certification against FSSC 22000 are taken up in Part I of the scheme documents (www.fssc22000.com). Essentially it is as follows:
    • A preliminary self-assessment shall be conducted by the organization against the requirements and guidance in the Scheme Documents Part 1, Section 3;
    • Once the self-assessment has been completed and nonconformities addressed, the organization must select a certification body (CB);
    • A CB must have accreditation against ISO 17021 and the relevant AB must have an IAF/MLA signatory to be recognized by FSSC 22000;
    • The audit team of the CB shall perform a Stage 1 and Stage 2 audit and after analysis and review of the findings, an audit report on the assessment will be issued;
    • When all nonconformities have been resolved a certificate will be issued with a validity of three years. An annual surveillance audit will be required in the interim.
    The Foundation cannot advise on the selection of CB or the costs involved.


8. Are there checklists that can be used for the audit?
    There are checklists available in the FSSC 22000 Scheme Documents (Part II). Also an ISO 22000 checklist is included. These list the requirements which will be observed and reported as part of every audit.


9. What is the duration of an FSSC 22000 audit?
    The duration of the audit will depend on the size and complexity of the organization. In addition to the on-site audit duration as described in ISO 22003, clause 9.1.4. and Annex B, the CB will add
    • half a day (0,25 on site + 0,25 reporting) when the company has less then 250 employees AND less then 5 production lines AND less than 3 HACCP studies
    • one day (0,75 on site + 0,25 reporting) if more then 250 employees OR more then 5 production lines OR more then 3 HACCP.


10. Why and how to switch from ISO 22000 to FSSC 22000 certification?
    Companies that are ISO 22000 certified can upgrade to achieve full FSSC 22000 certification to be recognized by the GFSI. FSSC 22000 is achieved by meeting the additional requirements of the technical specifications for sector specific PRPs together with a small number of additional scheme requirements. An FSSC 22000 licensed CB can combine a scheduled ISO 22000-audit with an FSSC 22000 audit. A full stage 1 and 2 audit is not required. For more information see the Guidance on transition from ISO 22000 to FSSC 22000 certification.


11. Use of the FSSC 22000 logo?
    The use of the FSSC 22000 logo represents achievement of the highest standard. To maintain this, its use and copyright is controlled by FSSC 22000. Certified organizations may not display the FSSC 22000 logo or mention possession of a FSSC 22000 certificate on their products. The logo (copyright) may be included on the issued certificates if the certification is achieved by meeting all the requirements of this scheme. Conditions for the use of the logo can be found here.


12. Is there interest from other sectors for FSSC 22000 certification?
    Development of PRP specifications to cover other parts of the food supply chain [like warehousing & distribution] to facilitate FSSC 22000 certification is of course possible. This would contribute to the international harmonization of food safety standards in the supply chain by having ISO 22000 as the generic standard for food safety management systems, with sector specific PRPs covering the additional requirements. FSCC 22000 is ready to add new scopes as soon as technical specifications for additional sector PRPs are available and the relevant stakeholders in the international supply chain request FSSC 22000 to cover these sectors.


13. I'd like to know more about FSSC 22000 - Q?
    In this FAQ document you'll find more information and frequently asked questions about the FSSC 22000 - Q Module.


14. What are the transition periods for ISO standards linked to FSSC 22000?
    The transition periods for ISO standards linked to FSSC 22000 are listed in this document.

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