ISO has followed up its recent publication of ISO 22000, the International Standard for food safety management systems, with implementation guidance.

Food safety failures in both developed and developing countries have intensified interest everywhere in systematic prevention at every link in the supply chain. ISO 22000, backed by international consensus among government and industry experts, harmonizes the requirements for good food safety practice worldwide.

In turn, ISO/TS 22004 will act as a “force multiplier” by providing guidance for organizations that recognize the potential benefits of implementing a food safety management system, but are unsure of how to go about it. The document will therefore contribute to the spread of such systems, as well as improving understanding, communication and coordination between the actors in food supply chains.

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: “ISO/TS 22004 will facilitate the effective implementation of ISO 22000 and therefore help to maximize the benefits. It is an example of ISO’s market relevance, showing how we as an organization are keeping pace with evolutions in business practice, such as today’s tendency to accompany products with service and support packages.”

ISO/TS 22004 gives generic guidance for small and large enterprises on the implementation of ISO 22000, without altering or replacing any of the requirements in the standard. It explains “the process approach” used in ISO 22000 and provides guidance on the main clauses of the standard.

A major benefit of ISO 22000 is that it provides a framework for organizations worldwide to implement the Codex HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system for food hygiene in a harmonized way, which does not vary with the country or food product concerned. To further this objective, ISO/TS 22004 includes a flow chart on the planning of safe foods that combines steps addressed by the Codex HACCP guidelines and steps specific to ISO 22000.

ISO/TS 22004:2005, Food safety management systems – Guidance on the application of ISO 22000:2005, costs 75 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat (see below).