By Kelly Feist
ANAB has been recognized as an accreditation body by the FSSC 22000 Foundation for the FSSC 22000 food safety management system scheme for 10 years. Beginning on April 1, 2021, certification bodies (CBs) and their clients will be transitioning to FSSC 22000 v5.1. This revision is a sub-version change and not a full version change. However, several noteworthy requirements have been revised or added to the scheme. The strengthened licensing process and integrity program, updated compliance with GFSI benchmarking requirements (version 2020.1), and a continual improvement process led to the Foundation’s board of stakeholders’ decision to publish an upgraded version in November 2020.
Key updates to FSSC 22000
Overall, Part 2, Section 2.5 FSSC 22000, “Additional Requirements” received the most updates. Sections 2.5.1 and 2.5.2 include amended requirements, while sections 2.5.10–2.5.15 are new requirements and apply to specific food chain categories.
In Part 3, the Foundation has clarified audit duration for selected categories and explained the use of exemptions, while still covering the full FSSC 22000 requirements. The requirements for handling multi-site assessments have been expanded with additional information regarding sampling, the central function, and nonconformity management. The additional text clearly outlines that the central function (main office) of a multi-site organization shall be responsible for addressing nonconformities and failure of any of the sites to meet the scheme requirements shall result in the entire organization losing certification.
Regarding the maintenance of CB licenses for the scheme, the Foundation has added new parameters in Part 4, listing the number of certificates a CB must have registered in the portal. CBs need to monitor their certification activities to ensure they meet the new requirements within 36 months.
Increased focus on FSSC 22000 requirements
Although the Foundation has softened its emphasis of the changes as a sub-version change, there are many amendments to the requirements that could affect a CB’s license and accreditation or an organization’s FSSC 22000 certification. The bottom line is that CBs and organizations need to take notice of the numerous small but significant changes in the FSSC 22000 v5.1 scheme.
About the author
Kelly Feist is the senior manager of accreditation, management systems food safety programs at ANAB.