Food safety

What ISO 22000 stands for? How to get ISO 22000 certification?

The ISO 22000 certification serves as solid proof of a food business's commitment to higher standards of food safety.

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The ISO 22000 certification serves as solid proof of a food business's commitment to higher standards of food safety.

To address the complex challenges of ensuring safe and wholesome food production and distribution, the International Standards Organization has developed several structured frameworks of standards. These standards aim to manage risks, enhance efficiency, and uphold consumer trust.

The most widely recognized ISO standard for the food industry is the ISO 22000. This standard plays a significant role in guiding food businesses to achieve the highest level of safety, quality, and regulatory compliance.

Key points covered:

  1. The International Standards Organization (ISO) is a nongovernmental group that publishes standards to ensure safe, reliable, and quality products and services.
  2. ISO standards are established for different industries, including health care, manufacturing, construction, and food businesses, to name a few.
  3. The ISO 22000 certification was designed for food businesses dealing in the global food supply chain, including production and food service. The certification promotes equal quality and safety across nations. 
  4. ISO 22000 is targeted toward the food industry. It aims to build a food safety system that proactively reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses and promotes the safety of consumers.
  5. The ISO standards list includes the best food safety practices, a system to monitor progress, and a comprehensive program for continual improvement.
  6. ISO 22000 certification proves that a food business has implemented a comprehensive food safety management system according to the ISO standards.
  7. FoodDocs' smart Food Safety Management System can help food businesses establish a Food Safety System that is completely compliant with ISO 22000 standards.
  8. Intelligent auditing tools that are built by the FoodDocs system enable food safety teams to evaluate compliance with ISO standards before certification.
  9. FoodDocs' built-in HACCP Plan template builder can help generate a comprehensive food safety plan template to help you comply with ISO 22000 requirements.

Learn more about how FoodDocs can help food businesses efficiently achieve ISO certification with our innovative software.

What does ISO stand for?

ISO stands for the International Standards for Organization.

The organization is independent and nongovernmental, establishing standards for quality, safety, and efficiency.

The ISO sets steps for different organizations to demonstrate their capability and efficiency in controlling safety hazards. Their standards are internationally recognized and provide a framework for organizations to ensure food safety.

Continue reading as we focus more on the significance of ISO 22000 and how our innovative Food Safety Management System can help achieve certification compliance efficiently.

Businessman place the wooden cubes with ISO standards quality control concept, assurance warranty in dark background

What does the ISO standards list include?

The ISO standards consist of a wide range of regulations that apply to particular industries.

Among the many different ISO standards, the ISO 9001 is the most applicable standard for any business. The standard highlights quality management principles and requirements for customer confidence and continuous improvement.

Regarding the food industry, the most compatible ISO standard is ISO 22000. This standard identifies the requirements for a functional food safety management system in any food business.

ISO standards related to food safety are designed to ensure the safety and quality of food products throughout the entire supply chain.

The ISO 22000 standard consists of a family of standards contributing to building a comprehensive food safety management system.

The most notable standards of ISO 22000 include the following:

  • ISO 22000:2018 - Food Safety Management System. This standard outlines the requirements for a comprehensive food safety management system covering all areas of the entire food supply chain. The standard includes food safety objectives, such as hazard identification and establishing critical control measures.
  • ISO 22005:2007 - Traceability in the Feed and Food Chain. The standard emphasizes the traceability of ingredients and food products in the supply chain. It helps organizations develop and implement an effective traceability system to ensure food safety.
  • ISO 22004:2014 - Food Safety Management Systems - Guidance on the Application of ISO 22000. The ISO 22004 interprets the rules of ISO 22000 and guides how it can be effectively implemented.

It's important to note that food safety standards and regulations can vary by region and country. Organizations operating in the food industry should stay up-to-date with relevant standards and regulations to ensure compliance and the delivery of safe food products to consumers.

Why are the ISO standards necessary?

ISO standards are generally recognized to provide a solid foundation for international regulation. The organization's standards help optimize business operations and reduce barriers to conducting safe and quality international trade.

ISO standards harmonize transactions between countries and different industries.

Specifically, the ISO standards help achieve the following objectives:

  • Global consistency. ISO standards are known globally, and they serve as guidelines for the development of international regulations. They ensure that products are produced with the same qualiy across nations.
  • Quality assurance. ISO standards provide standards for quality management systems. They help organizations and businesses produce and deliver better products and services according to internationally recognized customer requirements. Organizations can improve quality control measures by adhering to these standards, reducing defects and customer complaints.
  • Safety and reliability. ISO standards focus on solidifying different organizations' take on maintaining safety compliance. ISO defines protocols for which data to gather, ensuring transparency for other businesses and consumers.
  • Environmental responsibility. ISO standards also focus on the environmental responsibility of every business and advocate sustainable practices. These standards guide organizations in minimizing their environmental impact, reducing waste, conserving resources, and complying with relevant regulations.
  • Facilitated international trade. ISO standards serve as a framework to mediate between nations for fair trade and prevent food fraud. The standards provide rules on which information to provide, safety regulations needed, and testing methods to conduct to ensure safety.
  • Regulatory compliance. ISO standards often align with or complement regulatory requirements in various industries. Following ISO standards can help organizations meet regulatory expectations more efficiently, as many organizations base their regulations on high standards, such as that of ISO.

The benefits of ISO contribute to creating equally safe and efficient production systems across different nations and industries. They promote the best practices to ensure consumer safety, higher quality of products, and sustainability of the environment.

The objectives and benefits of the ISO standards align with FoodDocs'. With the help of our smart Food Safety Management System, establishing a monitoring program based on a comprehensive HACCP Plan is super easy. Powered by artificial intelligence, our system can automatically generate customizable monitoring tasks, complete with detailed instructions.

Supervisor and manager watching plastic bottles on conveyor belt

What are the steps for the ISO compliance?

ISO compliance means following the guidelines and applying them to the food business. 

The International Standards Organization suggests a 4-step general procedure when complying with any of their programs:

  1. Plan. Identify which ISO program is best fit for the business. Consider the business objectives that will be used to determine the appropriate ISO program. Perform a comprehensive gap analysis to determine the company's needs.
  2. Do. Once an ISO program has been selected, its standards must be implemented throughout the business with proper recording. The step involves extensively training employees.
  3. Check. Perform an internal evaluation of the system and identify areas that need improvement. The evaluation must include assessing whether the objectives meet the set ISO standards.
  4. Act. Based on the evaluation results, all remaining gaps must be addressed according to the ISO guidelines. Proper documentation can significantly help in this step.


The mentioned steps are all essential for any ISO standard compliance. After following the steps above, you are ready to undergo certification by third-party auditing management systems and services.

What is the meaning of ISO 22000 certification?

The ISO 22000 certification formally confirms a food organization's efforts to establish a food safety management system compliant with the ISO 22000 standards.

The certification program aims to identify the comprehensiveness of an organization's food safety system. It also evaluates the organization's food safety practices, procedures, and documentation.

The ISO food safety certification program also ensures that a company's food safety system is seamlessly integrated with the principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.

The certification program involves an auditing system where the food company will undergo a thorough evaluation. The ISO 22000 will be awarded to a food business that has proven its commitment to food safety and preparedness for safety and business risks.

ISO 22000 icon - vector illustration

What are the ISO 22000 requirements?

To achieve the ISO 22000 certification, the organization outlined clear guidelines and requirements for food safety for businesses. These basic requirements help organizations identify hazards, control them, protect consumers, and continuously improve safety and efficiency.

Some of the key requirements highlighted in the ISO 22000 guidelines include the following:
  • A comprehensive food safety policy
  • Definitive objectives that the company will focus its efforts on
  • A management system for documentation
  • A group of appointed team members to build a food safety team
  • Clear and effective communication procedures for internal and external transactions (e.g., customers, suppliers, and stakeholders)
  • An emergency plan in case of critical deviations
  • A verification and evaluation plan to assess the performance of the food safety system
  • Adequate resources for an effective food safety system operation
  • Established HACCP principles
  • A traceability system and an appropriate recall program
  • A corrective action plan
  • An internal auditing system
  • Prerequisite programs
  • A comprehensive plan for improving the food safety system

Fulfill all the ISO 22000 requirements with the help of FoodDocs' smart Food Safety Management System. Our smart software covers all the steps in building your food safety system and plans for ISO 22000 certification.

Powered by artificial intelligence, our innovative software can help automatically generate a comprehensive food safety system with monitoring tasks, a traceability system, auditing materials, and intelligent tools for food safety compliance.

In addition to establishing a complete food safety management system, our software can help you build your HACCP. With our built-in HACCP plan template builder, you can get a customizable template based on your specific business operations. This feature can help you complete all ISO 22000 certification requirements. 

How to get ISO certification?

Obtaining ISO 22000 certification involves implementing a food safety management system within the organization and undergoing a comprehensive evaluation by an accredited auditor.

Achieving an ISO 22000 certification implies that the business has covered the essential areas for food safety and customer protection as evaluated by a certified auditor.

The entire process of getting ISO certified is lengthy and requires a lot of attention. Preparation is key for a smooth certification process.

We narrowed down the essential procedures for any food business to get ISO certification in 10 easy steps:

ISO 22000 certification

How to apply ISO standards and get ISO 22000 certified poster

Step 1. Familiarize the team with the ISO 22000 standards. Understand the principles, objectives, and processes complying with ISO food safety management standards. Study the established rules and highlight areas that apply to the business.

Step 2. Create a food safety team. Assemble a team of individuals from all the departments of the food business who will be responsible for implementing and overseeing the certification process. This also involves appointing a food safety team leader.

Step 3. Conduct a gap analysis. Thoroughly assess the business operations and identify gaps based on what is required by the ISO management system standards and what is missing in your business. Document all gaps and formulate a potential range of solutions.

Step 4. Develop an implementation plan. Create a detailed plan outlining the steps to address the identified gaps. Assign responsibilities, set timelines, and allocate resources.

Step 5. Establish prerequisite programs. Establish prerequisite programs such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), pest control, hygiene practices, and sanitation procedures to create a foundation for food safety.

Step 6. Estbalish a HACCP plan. Apply HACCP principles to identify, assess, and control hazards in food. Determine critical control points (CCPs) in the business processes.

Step 7. Conduct training and awareness programs. Involve and orient all employees in the process. Interactive communication is important to ensure that everyone understands the objectives of the certification program.

Step 8. Conduct an internal audit. Conduct internal audits to assess the FSMS implementation's effectiveness and identify improvement areas. Correct any non-conformities identified during the audit.

Step 9. Choose a certification auditing body. Screen the approved certification bodies under the International Standards Organization page and select the best-fit certification services.

Step 10. Address findings. If any non-conformities are identified during the certification audit, address them and provide evidence of corrective actions.

After the long preparation and certification process, the business will be awarded an ISO 22000 certificate as proof of its commitment to food safety. The program also promotes continual improvement by conducting periodic surveillance audits to ensure the business consistently follows ISO 22000 requirements.

The process of ISO certification may be long, but there are ways to speed up the process without sacrificing the quality of the requirements. Use FoodDocs' AI-powered Food Safety Management System with a built-in HACCP builder. With the help of our smart software, essential monitoring tasks can be established based on identified hazards and critical control points from your gap analysis.

Food businesses can get a comprehensive food safety system in just 15 minutes with the help of our smart software. Using our solutions, you can create automatically generated monitoring tasks and checklists that can further be customized to fit ISO standards. These tasks can be used to record information and analyze gaps in the business. Findings can be immediately addressed and realigned with ISO standards.

In addition, each task is equipped with educative materials that can be used to train food handlers according to the ISO standards. 

Businesses can also get smart auditing tools that can be used to evaluate their operation's compliance with ISO standards. 

What is the difference between ISO compliance and ISO certification?

ISO compliance and certification are significantly related terms but refer to different concepts and levels of adhering to ISO standards.

Compliance refers to the organization's commitment and adherence to the requirements, principles, and guidelines of the ISO 22000 standards. This means a compliant organization uses the ISO guidelines in their practices and food safety systems.

While documentation is part of compliance, this concept does not involve external auditing from third-party accreditors.

ISO certification is the formal process of undergoing a comprehensive evaluation by an independent third-party certification body. Certification involves a series of audits, reviews, and assessments conducted by qualified auditors from the certification body.

If the organization successfully demonstrates compliance with the standard's requirements, they are awarded an ISO certificate.

How to ensure effective ISO 22000 implementation with digital solutions?

Complying with the ISO 22000 requirements can take months of preparation and several hours of documenting the food safety system.

Use FoodDocs' smart Food Safety Management System with a built-in HACCP plan builder to efficiently comply with all the ISO 22000 certification requirements.

Our innovative software can fulfill all ISO certification steps and continuously improve food safety systems for food businesses.

Get the following benefits by using our innovative software:
  1. Customizable monitoring tasks for recording ISO food safety compliance
  2. Step-by-step instructions for accurate food safety training
  3. Smart auditing tools for verifying compliance with ISO standards
  4. Traceability system for tracking product and ingredient movement
  5. Built-in HACCP plan builder for a comprehensive food safety plan

Customizable monitoring tasks for recording ISO food safety compliance

One of the main objectives of ISO 22000 is to establish a system with adequate control over the food safety of a food business's food safety team. Get the essential tools, such as customizable monitoring tasks, for recording compliance from our software.

Our system can automatically generate customizable monitoring tasks based on the specific business profile. Some of the most widely used monitoring tasks from our software include the following:
  • Temperature log
  • Cooking log
  • Calibration log
  • Cleaning checklist


Customizable Temperature Log from FoodDocs software

All generated monitoring tasks can be further tailored to fit unique operations. Improve each monitoring task according to the ISO 22000 guidelines. Add fields, tasks, and parameters that need monitoring to ensure that the Food Safety System captures the essential information required by the ISO certification program.

Make monitoring tasks more comprehensive by applying suggestions from the ISO certification auditor. Quickly edit monitoring tasks and incorporate their points for improvement to show commitment to food safety.

Step-by-step instructions for accurate food safety training

Show the business's comprehensive approach to food safety by providing the food safety team with clear and educative instructions for food safety training. Another essential objective of achieving ISO 22000 certification is for the team to show mastery of applicable food safety rules and knowledge of food hygiene.

All monitoring tasks and checklists generated by our system come with step-by-step instructions on performing and monitoring the task. These instructions are expertly attached to each monitoring task to serve as a guide for food handlers.


Monitoring tasks with step-by-step instructions from FoodDocs software

Managers can use these instructions for food safety training and onboarding new food handlers. Our system also accommodates customizations of instructions as it allows admins to upload their version of the instructions as videos or images.

Smart auditing tools for verifying compliance with ISO standards

Use our system to prepare the team for the actual ISO certification process. Upload or audit checklists to our system or create new ones from scratch and conduct in-house evaluations through any mobile device.

Identify areas that need more attention and address all potential gaps in the food processes before the ISO certification audit. Use our intelligent tools to review the system as needed and ensure everything is in place.

Incorporate findings from the gap analysis into established auditing checklists and evaluate whether the team has resolved the issues effectively.

Traceability system for tracking product and ingredient movement

A critical requirement of the ISO 22000 certification program is for the food business to have a way to monitor their product's movement across the entire food chain.

Our smart Food Safety Management System fulfills both monitoring task needs and traceability requirements. Use our Smart Traceability System to log and access information about product and ingredient batches efficiently.

With the help of our Traceability System, historical data about production batches can be easily accessed, especially for food recalls. Make production management more effective with the help of this feature. Use our Advanced Search options to find precise documents about a particular product quickly.

Traceability System from FoodDocs software

Built-in HACCP builder for a comprehensive food safety plan

Fulfill the most significant part of the ISO 22000 certification program with the help of our built-in HACCP plan template builder. Our software can automatically generate a comprehensive digital HACCP plan template that can be further improved through customization.

With the help of our intuitive software, food safety teams can get the following HACCP components:
  1. Basic flowchart of operations
  2. Prerequisite programs
  3. Hazard analysis
  4. Established critical control points with critical limits
  5. Established monitoring procedures
  6. Corrective action plan
  7. Verification procedure
  8. Recordkeeping procedure

HACCP plan template from FoodDocs software

Our system will generate the HACCP plan template based on the provided information. Fulfill one of the major requirements of the ISO certification in an average of 1 hour with the help of our built-in HACCP  builder.

In addition, teams can add any suggestions from the accrediting body easily, as the digital HACCP plan is fully customizable.

Allow our intuitive Food Safety Management System to help your food business achieve your ISO 22000 certification more efficiently. In just 15 minutes, you can get a HACCP-based Food Safety System compliant with the ISO 22000 standards.

Book a free one-on-one demo with our food safety and software experts to walk you through our smart software. Our expert members can show you how our software can help your business achieve ISO 22000 certification efficiently.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To help you understand more about ISO certification, here are a few of the most common questions asked regarding this topic:

Is ISO 22000 better than HACCP?

The ISO 22000 standard covers a broader context than the HACCP system. ISO incorporates the principles of HACCP into food safety management systems and requires higher standards for the overall improvement of food safety. Contrary to just the HACCP system, the ISO 22000 standards include traceability, monitoring, consumer satisfaction, and production management. 

Choosing between the two systems depends on the level of scope needed for a food safety management system.

What is required for ISO compliance?

ISO compliance requirements depend on the program under the organization. For food businesses, organizations must establish and maintain a food safety management system that adheres to the requirements outlined in the relevant ISO standard, such as ISO 22000.

This includes implementing processes to identify food safety hazards, establishing food safety control measures, conducting regular audits, ensuring employee training, maintaining documentation, and continuously improving the system.

HACCP vs. ISO 22000

On the one hand, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is basically a systematic approach that aims to identify and control food safety hazards in the food supply chain. On the other hand, ISO 22000 implements the same HACCP principles to establish a food safety system alongside other elements such as communication, management commitment, and continual improvement.

FSSC 22000 vs. ISO 22000

FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification 22000) and ISO 22000 are related but distinct standards. The FSSC 22000 is a certification scheme recognized by the GFSI that is based on the ISO 22000 requirements.

The ISO 22000 standards focus on establishing a food safety system that focuses on the HACCP principles and can be applied to almost all food businesses. Although the FSSC scheme has more requirements, it has a more limited application. The FSSC is generally only applicable to industries including food ingredients, packaging, feed production, and handling high-risk animal products. 

FSSC 22000 offers a more industry-focused approach by addressing sector-specific prerequisites, such as prerequisites for food packaging manufacturing and food producers.

ISO 9001 vs. ISO 22000

ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 are international standards that cover different areas. ISO 9001 covers product quality management for different industries and not just food businesses. The standard aims to enhance the overall business process.

The ISO 22000 standards, on the other hand, focus specifically on establishing effective food safety management, ensuring safe production and handling of foods, and customer satisfaction.



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