FSSC 22000 is an internationally recognized certification scheme which ensures the safety and quality of food products. The latest version, FSSC 22000, version 6, was published in the beginning of April 2023. There will be a 12-month transition period between 1st April 2023 and 31st March 2024. After 31st March 2024, no audits will be conducted against FSSC 22000 version 5.1. The new version of the certification will bring significant changes which will impact food production companies. Below, we explore key changes you need to know to ensure your organization is prepared for the transition.
Food chain categories
FSSC 22000 V6 will introduce changes to food chain categories. The food chain subcategories are based on the ISO22003-1 accreditation document to align with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) requirements. FSSCv6 will introduce two new categories; BIII - the pre-process handling of plant products, and C0, which focuses on animal primary conversion. The pet food production categories have been revised and removed. Pet food will now be covered in categories C & D. Transport has been merged and will be in category G. Finally, e-commerce will now be included in category FI. As a result, some organizations will change towards a different food safety category during the certification towards FSSCv6.
FSSC 22000 additional requirements
The additional requirements in FSSCv6 include more detailed clauses on; validation/verification of packaging claims, criteria for using recycled materials, more detailed allergen management, environmental monitoring, quality control, purchase and installation of new equipment and handling of food waste.
Due to changes in the accreditation document ISO22003-1 and the additional requirements, the audit time for FSSC 22000 audits will need to be revised. For many organizations, the audit time will increase, whilst organizations that undergo integrated audits with management systems or food safety systems may experience a reduction in time.
Follow up on non-major conformities
FSSC 2200 V6 states that major non-conformities shall be closed by the certification body (CB) within 28 calendar days from the last day of the audit. If this is not possible, the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) must include temporary measures and controls necessary to mitigate the risk until permanent corrective action can be implemented. In addition, the CB must agree on a time frame with the organization to verify the effective implementation of the permanent corrective action. A certification decision will be made based on this information.
Additional audit documentation and certificates
FSSC 22000 V6 also requires a representative of the company and the auditor to complete an attendance register. This document will include the start and end time of the audit as well as break times. In addition, an integrity declaration shall also be signed by a senior representative of the company during every audit.
Once an organization is certified, they will be presented with their certificate. The certificate will have a QR code printed on it.
FSSCv6 is expected to be published in April 2023 and the update to the certification will bring significant changes such as; new and revised food chain categories, additional requirements, increased audit times, additional documentation and the introduction of QR codes on certificates. Organizations must ensure they are aware of these changes and take necessary actions to prepare for audits against FSSCv6. FSSCv6 provides a framework for organizations to improve their operations, reduce risks and contribute to a sustainable future whilst meeting regulator expectations.