ISO 22000 and HACCP are both safety measures applied in the food and beverages processing industry. They aim to ensure that finished packaged products are free from allergens and biological and chemical hazards. The two systems cover not only the processing of the product itself, but also the packaging, such as bottles. The principle difference between the two is that ISO 22000 is a standard, whereas HACCP is a checklist for monitoring processes.
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The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point method of monitoring food production was created in the United States in 1972. The UK’s Food Standards Agency promotes the system in this country and has developed a series of guidelines for different sectors of the food industry. HACCP applies to many strata of the industry from farms to restaurants and so the FSA recommendations tailor HACCP methodology to create sector-specific procedures (see Resources).
The International Organisation for Standardisation developed the ISO 22000 standards after HACCP had become a generally accepted procedure for food safety management. ISO explains that its standard sets out the requirements for a food safety management system. This classification includes HACCP. ISO 22000 is actually a set of standards rather than one recommendation. The family of standards includes 22002-1, which relates specifically to food manufacturers and 22002-3, which specifies hygiene standards for farming.
According to ISO’s definition, ISO 22000 has a wider remit than HACCP. There may be new methodologies created in the future that could rival HACCP and ISO 22000 creates a framework for alternative systems to emerge. ISO does not enforce its standards. An independent company may decide to create its own food safety management system based on the ISO 22000 recommendations. However, because ISO created its standards to encompass HACCP methodology, there is a great deal of commonality between the two.
Although hygiene standards are critically important in the food industry, small businesses may find it difficult to implement complete systems outlined in ISO 22000. The Food Standards Agency addressed this issue by producing the HACCP-like “Safer food, better businesses” guidelines. Technology has also contributed to lower the costs of compliance. Businesses do not need large computer databases to track compliance with the standard. They can even run food safety management systems from a smartphone, with apps specifically designed for tracking compliance with ISO 22000 and HACCP.
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