ISO 22000 2018 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 the following seven sections:

  1. Context
  2. Leadership
  3. Planning
  4. Support
  5. Operations
  6. Evaluation
  7. Improvement


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 doesnít matter how complex the organization is or what size
it is, ISO 22000 can help ensure the safety of its food products.

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
    • Cleaning service providers
    • Logistics service providers
    • Sanitation service providers
    • Distribution service providers
    • Transportation service providers
  • Product suppliers
    • Suppliers of tools
    • Suppliers of utensils
    • Suppliers of additives
    • Suppliers of equipment
    • Suppliers of ingredients
    • Suppliers of raw materials
    • Suppliers of cleaning agents
    • Suppliers of sanitizing agents
    • Suppliers of packaging materials
    • Suppliers of 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 above.


ISO 22000 will help you to achieve the following objectives:

  • To provide safe products and enhance customer satisfaction.
    • To ensure that products do not cause adverse health effects.
  • To ensure that you comply with your own food safety policy.
    • To demonstrate compliance to all interested parties.
  • 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 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 communicate food safety issues throughout the food chain.
    • To communicate with your organizationís customers.
    • To communicate with your organizationís suppliers.
    • To communicate with relevant interested parties.


If you donít already have a food safety management system (FSMS), you
can use this ISO 22000 standard to establish one. According to ISO 22000,
your organization's FSMS must meet every requirement if you wish to
claim that it complies with this standard.

However, how you choose to meet ISO's many food safety management
requirements, and to what extent, will depend on and be influenced by
many factors. How you choose to comply with ISOís many requirements will
depend on your organizationís context, its structure, its objectives, its risks,
its opportunities, its processes, its process
interactions, and its products
and services; and will be influenced by the competence of its
people and
the needs and expectations of its customers and other interested parties.
Consequently, food safety management systems can vary quite a bit.

ISO 22000 is designed to be used for certification purposes. Once youíve
established a FSMS that meets ISO's
requirements and deals with your
organizationís own
risks and requirements, you can ask a registrar
(certification body) to 
audit your system. If you pass the audit, your
registrar will issue an official certificate that states that your
organization's FSMS meets ISO's requirements.

While ISO 22000 is designed to be used for certification purposes, you
donít have to become certified. You can be in compliance without being
formally certified by an accredited certification body (registrar). You can
self-audit your FSMS and then announce to the world that it complies
with the standard (if it actually does).

ISO 22000 Food Safety Program


Food Safety Management Principles

Plain English Food Safety Management Definitions

Overview of ISO 22000 2018 Food Safety Management Standard

Structure of the ISO 22000 2018 Food Safety Management Standard

ISO 22000 2018 Food Safety Standard Translated into Plain English

Plain English Food Safety Management Gap Analysis Process

ISO 22000 2018 Food Safety Management Audit Tool

Plain English Food Safety Management Checklist

ISO 22000 2005 Translated into Plain English

ISO 22000 2018 versus ISO 22000 2005

Our Plain English Approach

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Updated on April 11, 2020. First published on January 5, 2007.

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