Over the last few decades, there has been significant progress in the development of international food safety standards. Many companies refer to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines in ensuring food safety and quality at the manufacturing plant level. However, many retailers and buyers in the food industry supply chain have slightly differing requirements, depending on their particular circumstances. For example, US retailers must comply with onerous and very specific food safety requirements laid down by the FDA, and they pass these on to their overseas suppliers, making supplying the US market sometimes costly for suppliers.
The impact of ISO 22000
Given worries about food safety and the emerging standards, ISO, the international body responsible for standardization, decided to produce a food safety standard covering the entire food supply chain. The ISO 22000 was launched in 2005 in order to meet this requirement. ISO 22000 has become one of the most recognized global food safety standards. It lists over 60 codes of practice and guideline documents associated with the food sector.
An informal survey on the impact of ISO 22000 on various sectors was conducted in 2008.
Category Number of certificates
Food processor 149
Dairy processor 116
Beverage manufacturer/winery 90
Fruit and vegetable processor46
Distributors and Handlers45
Feed manufacturer 32
As the table above shows, ISO 22000 has yet to be adopted widely in the retail sector, but a significant number of catering establishments from small restaurants to large hotels, and school cafeterias have found the standard to be a useful tool.