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Understanding ISO 22000: A Global Standard for Safe Food – Part 3 of 3


Welcome to the final part of our three-part series on ISO 22000 and its importance to the food service industry and other related businesses. In the first two parts, we discussed the basics of the ISO 22000 standard and its requirements for a food safety management system as well as some insights on its implementation. In this final part, we will delve deeper into the process of auditing and certification for ISO 22000. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to develop a comprehensive food safety management system that meets the ISO 22000 standard and, ultimately, how to provide safe food to your customers.

ISO 22000 Auditing and Certification Explained

Auditing and certification are essential components of the ISO 22000 standard. Auditing involves the process of assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of the food safety management system in place. This process is conducted by an independent third-party auditor who ensures that all the requirements of the ISO 22000 standard have been met. The auditor reviews documentation, conducts interviews and observations, and performs testing to ensure that the food safety management system is functioning as intended. 

Certification is the process of issuing a formal recognition that a company’s food safety management system has been audited and found to meet the requirements of the ISO 22000 standard. Certification is usually awarded by an accredited certification body, and it provides assurance to customers, stakeholders, and regulatory bodies that the company can provide safe food products. 

It is important to note that certification is not a one-time event. Companies must undergo regular audits to maintain their certification and ensure that their food safety management system remains effective. Audits can occur annually or bi-annually, depending on the certification body and the level of risk associated with the food products being produced. 

Importance of Auditing and Certification

Auditing and certification are crucial for companies in the food industry for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to ensure that the food products being produced are safe for consumption. This is particularly important in an industry where foodborne illnesses can have severe consequences, including loss of life. Certification provides assurance to customers that the company is taking all necessary measures to ensure that their products are safe.

Secondly, certification can help to increase a company’s competitiveness in the market. Many customers, particularly those in the food industry, are increasingly demanding that their suppliers are certified to international standards. Having ISO 22000 certification can be a significant selling point for companies, particularly when competing against non-certified suppliers.

Finally, certification can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s food safety management system. Regular audits provide an opportunity for companies to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to their processes and procedures. This can lead to a more streamlined and effective system, which can ultimately benefit the company and its customers.

Process of Auditing and Certification

The process of auditing and certification for ISO 22000 in the food industry typically involves several steps:

  1. Pre-Assessment: This involves a preliminary review of the company’s food safety management system to identify any potential areas of non-conformance.
  2. Formal Assessment: A team of auditors will conduct an on-site inspection of the company’s facilities, processes, and procedures to determine whether they comply with the relevant standards.
  3. Corrective Action: If any non-conformances are identified during the assessment, the company will need to take corrective action to address them.
  4. Certification: If the company’s food safety management system is deemed to be in compliance with the relevant standards, they will be issued with a certificate.
  5. Surveillance Audits: To maintain certification, the company will need to undergo regular surveillance audits to ensure that they continue to comply with the relevant standards.
  6. Re-Certification: Certification is typically valid for a certain period, after which the company will need to undergo a re-certification process to maintain their certification status.

Overall, the auditing and certification process is designed to ensure that companies in the food industry are operating in a safe and efficient manner, which ultimately benefits both the company and its customers.


ISO 22000 is a comprehensive and globally recognised standard for food safety management systems that can be applied to all types of organisations involved in the food supply chain. By adopting ISO 22000, organisations can not only comply with regulatory requirements but also enhance their reputation, reduce food safety risks, and improve customer confidence. Overall, ISO 22000 is an important tool to ensure the safety of food products and protect public health.

At Edara Systems, we understand the importance of food safety and the impact it can have on businesses and consumers alike. We are committed to helping organisations improve their food safety management systems through our customised solutions and services. Whether you need ISO 22000, 14001, or ISO 27001 standard certification, we have the expertise and experience to guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more about ISO standards and how we can help you achieve your food safety goals.

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