GLOBAL – The FSSC Foundation has announced that Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 Version 5.1 has now been recognized against Version 2020.1 of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Benchmarking Requirements.

The GFSI’s Benchmarking Requirements Version 2020.1 is a revamp and follow-up on their Version 7.2 that resulted in additional requirements concerning Certification Program Owner governance.

As one of the already GFSI-recognized certification programmes, FSSC 22000 applied for the benchmarking of their Version 5.1 standard to get GFSI recognition.

On top of strengthened Certification Body (CB) performance requirements, the update aims to align FSSC 22000 with the new GFSI scheme requirements released in 2020, including the new requirements around multi-site certification.

The multi-site certification process assesses and reflects a company’s activity consistently at every site to ensure established processes and procedures of the management system are properly implemented and achieving the desired results, making it easier to encourage innovation and growth.

Key changes include a scope structure alignment to ISO 22003, which defines the rules applicable for the audit and certification of a food safety management system (FSMS) and the latest Codex Alimentarius guidelines on food hygiene. It also contains the introduction of Food Safety Culture and the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in auditing.

Consequently, the FSSC has strengthened its Integrity Program and licensing process, updated its requirements in FSSC 22000 Version 5.1(V5.1), and published a guidance document on how to audit food safety culture.

GFSI had earlier opened stakeholder consultation, a vital step in the benchmarking of FSSC 22000 V5.1, against the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements Version 2020.1. Open stakeholder consultations are an important step in this process to ensure the greatest transparency and objectivity, and are conducted after the desktop self-assessment review and the office visit led by an independent benchmark leader.

The Foundation Food Safety System Certification 22000 Version 5.1 was released in November 2020.

Accredited systems, such as FSSC 22000, can enhance brand reputation while giving customers confidence in the company’s production and supply chain management.

Governed by a non-profit organization, FSSC 22000 is designed to help businesses establish and continually manage food safety. The scheme incorporates international and independent standards such as ISO 22000 and pre-requisite programs.