ISO 22000, the international standard for food management systems is being revised to bring the standard up to date with today’s food safety requirements.
The international working group in charge of the revision, ISO/TC 34/SC 17/WG 8, held its fourth meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in early April.
Experts have sifted through more than 1,000 comments on the draft standard, and the standard has now reached the committee draft stage.
The revised standard will incorporate recognized key elements to ensure food safety at every step of the food chain — up to the point of consumption. This includes interactive communication across the food chain, a systematic approach to management, prerequisite programs, and HACCP principles.
The agenda at the Buenos Aires meeting was to work through the various comments and incorporate them into the document. Simultaneously, WG 8 worked to clarify certain key concepts of the standard. These included applying ISO’s new high-level structure, and providing a new understanding of different risk-based approaches. The group also worked to provide further clarification on how the plan-do-check-act cycle works by including two separate PDCA cycles in the standard that operate one inside the other and provides users a clear description of the differences between critical control points, operational prerequisite programs, and prerequisite programs.
Experts in Buenos Aires concluded that a second committee draft is necessary to create a more mature working document. As there are major interests at stake between players in the global food chain, a level of consensus has yet to be reached.
WG 8 has been charged with the task of clarifying and communicating fundamental concepts in simple and concise terms in order to produce a standard that is easy to understand and implement for businesses across the entire food chain.
Working through the second draft of comments with international stakeholders is anticipated as the next milestone in the standard’s revision. The next meeting is planned for June 14–16 in Copenhagen, Denmark.