• If a company doesn’t have ISO 22000 but is certified by ISO 9001:2015, is it still possible to become FSSC 22000 certified?

Yes, it is. FSSC 22000 includes the ISO 22000 requirements fully, so you must meet them, but it is not mandatory to be certified for ISO 22000 first. A company can move directly to FSSC 22000 certification at any time.

It is also not necessary to have ISO 9001. However, there are some advantages if your organization already meets ISO 9001. As ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 are both management system standards and the management system requirements are generally very similar, it is relatively straightforward to satisfy FSSC 22000 requirements when ISO 9001 is already implemented. Plus, combining FSSC 22000 and ISO 9001 leads to an integrated Food Safety and Quality Management System. Find more information on implementing FSSC 22000 from ISO 22000 on our website here.

  • Must the second FSSC 22000 Surveillance Audit be unannounced?

At least one (1) surveillance audit must be undertaken unannounced after the initial certification audit and within each three (3) year period after that; therefore, either the first or the second FSSC 22000 surveillance audit in the first cycle can be unannounced.

  • Where can we find information on FSSC 22000 training and recognized training organizations?

On our website (www.fssc22000.com) you can go to the section Partners, and there, you can select Training Organizations and view all our Licensed Training Organizations.

  • My company in Ghana is trying to implement FSSC 22000, but it has been a very tedious and expensive process for a small business like us looking to export. How can FSSC assist small businesses to get certified, and is FSSC considering a progressive licensing scheme for small businesses?

Small and medium-sized organizations (SMEs) play a significant role in the food supply chain. But, for SMEs that cannot meet the FSSC 22000 requirements in one step, we have developed the FSSC Development Program.

This program is a stepping stone model making it possible to reach FSSC 22000 in 2 or 3 stages. The staged requirements are graded across a level 1 and level 2 and include a voluntary conformity assessment program conducted by a recognized Assessment Body. Organizations that meet level 1 or 2 are published on our website as conforming organizations. There is a free requirement and self-evaluation document available in multiple languages on our website here.

  • Do you provide FSSC Auditor training yourself?

The Foundation does not provide FSSC auditor training directly. However, we have many Licensed Training Organizations. Head to the Partner section of our website here, and select Training Organizations to view all our Licensed Training Organizations.

  • How do FSSC 22000 manage food and packaging fraud?

Please refer to our FSSC Guidance Document on Food Fraud Mitigation, which includes guidance on mitigating food fraud. The guidance document is available on our website here – under Scheme > Guidance Documents.

  • Where can we find the Food Safety Culture requirements for FSSC 22000 version 5.1?

Please refer to our FSSC Guidance Document on Food Safety Culture, which is available on our website here – under Scheme > Guidance Documents.

  • What are the significant differences between FSSC and other GFSI schemes?

FSSC is a global non-profit and independent Scheme owner, supporting the consumer goods industry in implementing ISO-based management systems. The FSSC 22000 scheme has a robust integrity program and a progressive assurance platform.

One of the essential differences between GFSI-recognized schemes is the fact that FSSC 22000 uses ISO standards. ISO 22000 for food safety management systems and sector-specific technical specifications for our prerequisite programs. On top of this, there are additional requirements, for instance, concerning food fraud and food defense. These ISO standards ensure a robust and effective food safety management system that is risk-based and focused on continuous improvement.

Designated for the different food supply chain sectors, the technical specifications for prerequisite programs ensure a solid base for the primary conditions for food safety. And of course, as the development of new technical specifications for sector PRPs is ongoing, the scope of the Scheme will follow these developments.

  • Is FSSC 22000 version 6.0 available?

The current version of FSSC 22000 is Version 5.1. Version 6 is still under development.

  • 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 here. You can find more information on this program and a list of approved Assessment Bodies that deliver the conformity assessments here.