Thousands of food manufacturers worldwide stand to benefit from a newly published document in the ISO 22000 series designed to prevent and control food safety hazards.

The new technical specification has a huge potential impact since at least 8 206 organizations in 112 countries were independently certified to ISO 22000:2005 at the end of 2008. (This is an increase on the figure announced in The ISO Survey of Certifications – 2008 as fresh information has allowed the total for France to be updated from 18 to 122.)

ISO/TS 22002-1 specifies requirements for establishing, implementing and maintaining prerequisite programmes designed to help food manufacturers be able to control:

  • The likelihood of introducing food safety hazards to the product through the work environment
  • Biological, chemical and physical contamination of the product, including cross contamination between products
  • Food safety hazard levels in the product and product processing environment.

Jacob Faergemand, Chair of the subcommittee which is responsible for the ISO 22000 series, comments: "As the introduction of food safety hazards can occur at the manufacturing stage of the food supply chain, a hygienic environment is essential. That is why this ISO technical specification is very useful to reduce the likelihood that products will be exposed to hazards, that they will be contaminated, and that hazards will proliferate."

The new technical specification applies to all organizations involved in the manufacturing step of the food chain, regardless of size or complexity. It is not a requirement of ISO 22000 and may be used in parts or in its entirety, depending on the nature of food manufacturing operations.

"ISO 220002-1 is the first technical specification in a series planned for relevant food sector PRP. It is expected that other parts of the food chain will over time ask for specific PRP based on the same model. This proves that ISO has now established the structure to help and facilitate the future needs for the worldwide food industry," further notes Jacob Faergemand.

ISO/TS 22002-1:2009, Prerequisite programmes on food safety – Part 1: Food manufacturing, was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, subcommittee SC 17, Management systems for food safety and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 98 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication and Information department (see right-hand column).