• By emphasizing the integrity of auditing in FSSC 22000, is there a doubt about auditing with just ISO 22000?

It is not a question of doubt, but FSSC 22000 has a more vigorous, more robust integrity program. It covers requirements for the Certification Bodies and the certification process, approval and onboarding process for the Certification Bodies, and a performance review process, including a sanction policy. This system supports a higher level of reliability of audits and certificates.

  • Why move to FSSC if we already have ISO 22000?

Although being certified against ISO 22000 is a great achievement, there are additional benefits to being FSSC 22000 certified. FSSC 22000 covers ISO 22000 entirely and is also recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) – where ISO 22000 is not.

Many food organizations (over 28.000) use FSSC 22000 and request GFSI recognized certification from their suppliers. In those cases, ISO 22000 will not be enough. Other benefits are the Integrity Program of FSSC 22000 for the Certification Bodies and a certification process that ensures reliable audits and certificates. The visibility of FSSC 22000 certified organizations in a public register, clear and robust requirements from the international technical specifications from sector-specific pre-requisite programs, supportive guidance documents, e.g., food fraud, food defense, food safety culture.

  • We have implemented a HACCP system at my company (a startup in biotechnology/food). Still, we aim to become FSSC 22000 certified. What are the steps you recommend to obtaining FSSC 22000 certification? I’ve heard that FSSC has different levels of certification.

FSSC also has a “stepping-stone” model for organizations that can not meet the FSSC 22000 requirements in one step. This process is the FSSC Development Program. With this program, you can reach FSSC 22000 in 2 or 3 steps. The program has two levels and is very flexible to use. You can start with a Conformity Assessment at Level 1, the minimum requirements for food safety, and grow through Level 2 (intermediate level of requirements) to meet full FSSC 22000 certification. You can also go from Level 1 directly to FSSC 22000 or start at Level 2.

For Level 1 and 2, your organization will receive a conformity statement when you meet the requirements and be listed on the FSSC website. A self-evaluation tool is available to download for free from our website (LINK). You can find more information on this program and a list of approved Assessment Bodies that deliver the conformity assessments on the same web page. (LINK)

  • If a company is already ISO 22000 certified and wants to obtain FSSC certification, is it necessary to perform the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits? Could it be possible to omit the Stage 1 audit since we are keeping the same CB (accredited for both ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000)?

When an organization already has a valid ISO 22000 certificate, the transition to FSSC 22000 does not require the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audit. The Certification Body can do the transition in just one audit.

  • The video stated that the ISO certificate is “updated” to the FSSC Certificate. Does that mean ISO 22000 audits will not be conducted after FSSC 22000 certification?

After a successful transition audit from ISO 22000 to FSSC 22000, an ISO 22000 certificate will be switched to an FSSC 22000 certificate. And from there, the Certification Body will conduct only FSSC 22000 audits. As FSSC 22000 covers ISO 22000 entirely, keeping the ISO 22000 certificate and separate ISO 22000 audits is unnecessary. But if an organization wishes to keep the ISO 22000 certificate, it is allowed. You can agree to this with your Certification Body.

  • Does it mean that we can not be certified only by FSSC 22000 and must first be certified in ISO 22000?

You do not need to be ISO 22000 certified first to become FSSC 22000 certified, as you can also achieve FSSC 22000 certification directly. You’re free to choose!