- Q1 Does the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impact the certification status of organizations due to audit constraints?
No, although the current COVID-19 pandemic may impact the Certification Bodies (CBs) ability to complete the scheduled audits. However, auditors and company employees’ safety is a top priority as determined by governmental regulations, industry, and CB’s policies. The Foundation FSSC 22000 has decided to grant an exception where the Coronavirus prevents CBs from traveling to organizations in affected areas/countries. As a result, we have issued specific guidance for CBs on managing postponed audits and certificate validity extensions.
- Q2 Can the Coronavirus pose a food safety risk?
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has stated that there is no evidence to assume that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. The WHO has confirmed this statement in their COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses on 7 April 2020.
- Q3 How does FSSC continue to assure compliance of certified organizations with Scheme requirements?
To maintain the integrity of FSSC 22000 certificates issued by our licensed CBs, the Foundation is in close contact with its partners, namely industry, CBs, and Accreditation Bodies (ABs). FSSC 22000 monitors the global situation on an ongoing basis and defines actions to be taken. At this moment, we have developed guidelines and requirements to be followed by our CB and AB partners. Furthermore, we will conduct additional reviews of risk assessments performed by our CBs while developing further actions when necessary.