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Which Standard to choose?

People and to be more specific organizations, in the food industry ask us one very specific question and that too, very frequently.

We are a food industry (in Pakistan/South Asia) and what standard we should choose to cover food safety and quality?

I mostly suggest : FSSC 22000 Q (FSSC 22000 + ISO 9001), if you can handle all things in an able manner and have good amount of resources available. And if you are just starting up your industry from scratch then go with ISO 9001 + ISO 22000. Or at least ISO 9001 + Codex HACCP The reason behind this and choosing only FSSC among other GFSI schemes, in my personal opinion, is the one. FSSC 22000 is purely based on ISO standards and this brings most harmonized, open and transparent management system development opportunities for any food industry. FSSC 22000 is ISO 22000 + relevant ISO 22002-X or related PAS + FSSC guidelines. FSSC 22000 was born out of ISO 22000 because ISO 22000 was not able to cover the good practices or say prerequisite programs part very well. It stated the programs only, and kept the control strategies open, which lead to lack of control and disputes regarding control strategies. Another question attached with the above is:

Why FSSC 22000 or ISO 22000? We need HACCP only.

HACCP is a food safety controls’ strategy, devised back in 1960s. and adopted by many national and international organizations as minimum food safety requirement. It included the CODEX-FAO HACCP document also, which was revised till 2001 and is available here.

CAC/RCP 1-1969 General Principles of Food Hygiene (English- pdf)

HACCP, has evolved over time and ISO 22000 standard covers HACCP step by step and in detail. If any organization has ISO 22000 in place, it means that organization has HACCP in place. There is no second though in it. and ISO 22000 is part of FSSC 22000 Also, one more question is asked.

Why should we go for ISO 9001 along with HACCP/ISO 22000/FSSC 22000?

Answer is simple. Food safety is subset of food quality. Food Quality can only be ensured if any organization has ISO 9001 , latest is ISO 9001:2015 in place. By just covering food safety only, a food industry can not grow. Quality and safety go hand in hand. FSSC 22000 released its FSSC 22000 Q module earlier this year and a detailed FAQ can be downloaded here So choose the relevant standard, for your food industry organization and serve your customers well.