ISO 22000 2005 Plain English Introduction


ISO 22000 is a generic food safety management system standard.
It defines a set of general food safety requirements that apply to
all organizations in the food chain. These requirements are listed
in sections 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

If your organization is part of the food chain, ISO 22000 wants you
to establish a food safety management system (FSMS). It then wants
you to use this system to ensure that food products do not cause
adverse human health effects.

ISO 22000 is designed to be used for certification (registration)
purposes. In other words, once youíve established a FSMS that
meets ISOís requirements, you can ask a registrar to audit your
system. If your registrar agrees that youíve met the ISO 22000
requirements, it will issue an official certificate that states that
your FSMS meets the ISO 22000 food safety requirements.

However, you donít have to be certified (registered). ISO does not
require certification (registration). You can be in compliance without
being formally registered by an accredited auditor. You can self assess
your system and simply declare to the world that your FSMS complies
with ISO 22000 (if it does). Of course, your customers and business
partners are more likely to believe that you have an effective FSMS
if an independent auditor says so.


Since ISO 22000 is a generic food safety management standard, it can
be used by any organization directly or indirectly involved in the food
chain. It applies to all organizations in the food chain. It doesnít matter
how complex the organization is or what size it is, ISO 22000 can help
ensure the safety of its food products.

The food chain consists of the entire sequence of stages and
operations involved in the creation and consumption of food
products. This includes every step from initial production to final
consumption. More precisely, it includes the production, processing,
distribution, storage, and handling of all food and food ingredients.

The food chain also includes organizations that do not directly
handle food. These include organizations that produce feed for
animals that produce food and for animals that will be used as
food. It also includes organizations that produce materials that
will eventually come into contact with food or food ingredients.

ISO 22000 can be used by:

  • Primary producers
    • Farms
    • Ranches
    • Fisheries
    • Dairies
  • Processors
    • Fish processors
    • Meat processors
    • Poultry processors
    • Feed processors
  • Manufacturers
    • Soup manufacturers
    • Snack manufacturers
    • Bread manufacturers
    • Cereal manufacturers
    • Dressing manufacturers
    • Beverage manufacturers
    • Seasoning manufacturers
    • Packaging manufacturers
    • Frozen food manufacturers
    • Canned food manufacturers
    • Confectionery manufacturers
    • Dietary supplement manufacturers
  • Food service providers
    • Grocery stores
    • Restaurants
    • Cafeterias
    • Hospitals
    • Hotels
    • Resorts
    • Airlines
    • Cruise ships
    • Seniors lodges
    • Nursing homes
  • Other service providers
    • Storage service providers
    • Catering service providers
    • Logistics service providers
    • Transportation service providers
    • Distribution service providers
    • Sanitation service providers
    • Cleaning service providers
  • Product suppliers
    • Suppliers of tools
    • Suppliers of utensils
    • Suppliers of equipment
    • Suppliers of additives
    • Suppliers of ingredients
    • Suppliers of raw materials
    • Suppliers of cleaning agents
    • Suppliers of sanitizing agents
    • Suppliers of packaging materials
    • Suppliers of other food contact materials

Of course, the previous catalogue does not exhaust the list of
organizations that could benefit from the use of this standard.
ISO 22000 applies to all organizations directly or indirectly
involved in the food chain, not just the ones listed here.


ISO 22000 will help you to achieve the following objectives:

  • To establish a food safety management system (FSMS).
    • To plan and implement a FSMS for your organization.
    • To operate and maintain your organizationís FSMS.
    • To update and improve your organizationís FSMS.
  • To ensure that products do not cause adverse health effects.
  • To demonstrate compliance with external safety requirements.
    • To demonstrate compliance with legal safety requirements.
      • To demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.
      • To demonstrate compliance with statutory requirements.
    • To demonstrate compliance with customer requirements.
  • To evaluate your customersí food safety requirements.
  • To provide safe products and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • To export food products and penetrate international markets.
  • To communicate safety issues throughout the food chain.
    • To communicate with your organizationís customers.
    • To communicate with your organizationís suppliers.
    • To communicate with other relevant interested parties.
  • To ensure that you comply with your food safety policy.
    • To demonstrate compliance to all interested parties.

ISO 22000 uses roughly the same basic structure as the ISO 9001
quality management standard. This should make it a bit easier for
ISO 9001 certified organizations to pursue ISO 22000 certification.


ISO 22000 uses HACCP. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical
Control Point
. It was developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
HACCP is a methodology and a management system. It is used to identify,
prevent, and control food safety hazards. HACCP management systems
apply the following methodology:

  1. Conduct a food safety hazard analysis.
  2. Identify your critical control points (CCPs).
  3. Establish critical limits for each critical control point.
  4. Develop procedures to monitor critical control points.
  5. Design corrective actions to handle critical limit violations.
  6. Create a food safety record keeping system.
  7. Validate and verify your system.

This methodology is used to develop an HACCP plan. An HACCP
plan is a document that describes how an organization plans to
manage and control its food safety hazards. An HACCP plan
contains at least the following information:

  1. Critical control points (CCPs)
  2. Hazards that will be controlled at each CCP
  3. Control measures that will be used at each CCP
  4. Critical limits that will be applied at each CCP
  5. Procedures that will be used to monitor CCPs
  6. Actions that will be taken when limits are violated

ISO 22000 shows organizations how to combine the HACCP plan with
prerequisite programs (or programmes) and operational prerequisite
into a single integrated food safety management strategy.

Prerequisite programs (PRPs) are the conditions that must be
established throughout the food chain and the activities and practices
that must be performed in order to establish and maintain a hygienic
environment. PRPs must be suitable and be capable of providing food
that is safe for human consumption. PRPs are also referred to as good
hygienic practices, good agricultural practices, good production
practices, good manufacturing practices, good distribution
practices, and good trading practices.

Operational prerequisite programs (OPRPs) are prerequisite programs
(PRPs) that are essential. They are essential because a hazard analysis
has shown that they are necessary in order to control specific food safety
hazards. OPRPs are used to reduce the likelihood that products will be
exposed to hazards, that they will be contaminated, and that hazards
will proliferate. OPRPs are also used to reduce the likelihood that the
processing environment will be exposed to hazards.


Food Safety Standard Translated into Plain English

Food Safety Management System Development Plan

Plain English Food Safety Management Definitions

Food Safety Management Audit Program

Food Safety Gap Analysis Tool

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Updated on December 1, 2013. First published on January 5, 2007.

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