What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?

What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?

What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One

As a restaurant owner, you need to abide by many food safety standards. This is where a food safety consultant comes in. Here’s why you need one.

Do you run a restaurant or a business with a kitchen? Does it feel overwhelming when you think about all the balls you juggle every day?

Most of the time, a kitchen manager handles everything from kitchen food safety to personnel changes and sometimes the dining room, too. If you feel stretched thin, read this article to find the help you need.

Below, we’ll tell you all about what a food safety consultant is and why you need one. When you’re ready to make the leap, use our quick tips for choosing a consultant that’s right for your kitchen.

What Is a Food Safety Consultant?

Food safety consultants give you confidence that your kitchen complies with all regulations. They are an outside pair of eyes to keep you and your kitchen staff on track.

Protecting your customers from getting sick is of the utmost importance. With guidelines that change all the time, having someone else around to work alongside you on this project is a must.

Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?

You may think that everyone knows how to follow basic safety rules like wearing gloves or avoiding cross contamination. But sanitizing daily and checking storage temperatures isn’t everyone’s first priority.

In fact, some employees choose not to read the instructions or cut corners to speed things up. This can lead to failed inspections, or worse, sick clientele.

While you want to have speedy service, you also need to avoid these problems. When you hire a consultant, it’s a lot easier to meet both goals.

Here are three big reasons your restaurant needs a food safety consultant.


There are regulations to follow in any kitchen. No matter which food safety management system you follow, you want to maintain your certifications. Here are some standard food safety certifications:

  • BRC certification (most popular) – British Retail Consortium
  • SQF from Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
  • FSSC 22000 also from GFSI

You have to follow many guidelines for legal compliance and certification. Staying on top of everything requires a lot of meticulous list-keeping.

If that’s not you, a food safety consultant can help you stay in compliance. Let someone else make the lists and double check them. Having another person on your team to keep track of the nit-picky items is an asset you can’t afford to work without.

Extra Support

When you hire a food safety consultant, did you know you hire extra support? They are they to help organize and manage the system, but they also give advice.

The support an independent consultant gives is invaluable. Your consultant should be able to help with anything from kitchen emergencies to encouragement and recommendations.

While it’s hard to quantify this type of help, the results you see from its implementation won’t be nebulous.

Current Information

The regulations for these and other organizations or laws change often. It’s hard to keep up with all the requirements.

A food safety consultant keeps up with all the guidelines and assesses your specific needs. They’ll help you change processes or procedures when the rule changes, so that you don’t miss a beat.

You can achieve compliance with the help of a consultant, even with ceaseless updates to the regulations.

How to Choose a Food Safety Consultant

That’s great, you’re convinced that a consultant is important for your restaurant. But if you want to hire one, where do you start?

How do you know that the one you’ve picked out is the right fit for your business? Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you’ve made the best decision.

Do They Have Outside Resources?

Food safety consultants should have access to outside resources because of the field they’re in. Even if they don’t know the answer to a question you have, they should be able to find it within their network of experts and colleagues.

Are They Too Cheap?

Don’t rule out an expensive consultant. Most often, you get what you pay for, and having to pay a little more for quality service is worth it.

Ask all the questions before you go with someone who charges less than their competitors. There’s doubtless a reason they can’t charge the same prices as other consultants you looked at.

Trust your instincts, and triple check before you hire the cheapest option.

Do They Understand the Regulations?

Choosing someone who has memorized the rules won’t help you if they don’t understand them. You need a consultant who has experience applying the rules to the real world.

Being able to recite the rulebook doesn’t mean they can interpret it. Food safety consultants are like the judges in the courtrooms of the kitchen. Instead of quoting it, they have to be able to interpret the law.

Ask your prospective consultant if they have experience in the kitchen. If not, give them some real-life scenarios you have encountered in your own kitchen to respond to. This way you can make sure they know how to handle a difficult situation.

Abiding By Safety Standards

Keeping up with regulations doesn’t have to be a headache you’re used to. A food safety consultant can help you be compliant, keep up with changes, and find the extra support you need.

To choose a consultant, ask some basic questions about their experience, resources, and pricing. Soon your restaurant will be a slick machine, and you will be able to focus on other aspects of the kitchen.

With over 20 years of expertise, TCI can help you achieve these goals. For more about food safety management systems developed around your needs, select a consultant package on our website.

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens

Food safety is one of the most important aspects of running a restaurant. Read on to learn about the top ten food safety tips.

You’re surely aware of salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and norovirus — but did you know that there are over 250 food borne illnesses? Each year, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million people get sick from a food borne illness. Of those, some 128,000 must be hospitalized, and 3,000 die as a result of getting sick from poor food handling practices.

If you supervise a restaurant or commercial kitchen, it is absolutely imperative to understand food safety. We’ve compiled a list of food safety tips to get you started.

Hand It to Safety

One of the most important tips to help keep your commercial kitchen safe is good, old fashioned hand washing. “Employees Must Wash Hands” is more than just a mandatory poster on the kitchen, bathroom, or break room wall.

Make hand washing an iron-clad rule. Train your employees in proper hand washing procedures.. And administer strict and swift consequences for those who don’t follow this rule.

Make Gloves Mandatory

In addition, your workers should be trained in the proper use of gloves. Whenever someone is preparing food in a commercial kitchen, they should be wearing gloves. Not only that, but they should change gloves frequently. New gloves should be worn each time the cooks switch from raw to cooked food, for example, and vice versa.

Far too many food service workers see gloves as magical shields that somehow render germs powerless, no matter what that person does with their hands. If you see staff members wearing gloves while scratching or touching their skin, and then handling food without changing the gloves, stop them. Retrain your staff as necessary.

Clean and Sanitize Equipment Daily

Of course, the equipment in the kitchen must also be cleaned and sanitized not just on the regular, but properly. Your https://www.foodsafetynews.com/restaurant-inspections-in-your-area/ may have specific requirements surrounding food sanitation, so make sure to ask.

In general, you won’t go wrong with hot, soapy water and/or commercial bleach. Wash down all dishes, prep containers, pots and pans, utensils, cooking surfaces, cutting boards, and countertops. Sweep and mop not just the kitchen proper, but also the coolers, freezers, and storage areas.

Set a Regular Deep Cleaning Schedule

It’s also a smart idea to set a firm schedule of how often the entire kitchen should be scrubbed down and cleaned out. Asking your employees to take care of heavy-duty cleaning “as needed” or “when they have down time” is asking for a dirty kitchen that will fail a health inspection.

During a deep clean, tackle the ovens, grills, fryers, and appliances. Don’t forget grease traps, range hoods, fans and vents, lighting fixtures, and the like.

Avoid Cross Contamination When Storing Food…

Raw meat and poultry should be kept entirely separate from their cooked counterparts. In addition, keep them away from vegetables, prepared sauces, rolls or bread, and any other foodstuff.

This practice ought to be a no-brainer. Anyone who’s ever watched even one episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” knows that raw chicken can’t be kept in a bucket with cooked steak. But you’d be surprised how many shortcuts busy kitchen staff will resort to!

The same policy of strict separation goes for knives, cutting boards, utensils, mixing and prep bowls, trays, storage containers, and thermometers. You must have separate prep and cooking tools and supplies for raw poultry, raw meat, raw seafood, cooked proteins, vegetables, and other foods.

Make Proper Food Storage a Priority

Do you understand how different types of food — dry vs. wet, hot vs. cold, vegetables vs. meats — must be stored? Do your employees? You can be certain that the health inspector does, so you should too.

Several factors must be taken into consideration when storing food. Ventilation is important, as is temperature. Container sizes, how those containers are sealed, and how food is rotated in and out of containers and storage areas are all crucial to safety in commercial kitchens.

Never store food directly on the floor, even if it’s in a box or bin. Never store meat on upper refrigerator or walk-in shelves, where it could potentially drip onto other ingredients underneath.

Make sure your employees understand and follow all protocols related to storage.

Follow the Rule of First In, First Out

Want to make certain that your ingredients are as safe as possible, while minimizing the amount of food you need to discard? Be strict about following a “FIFO” policy. FIFO stands for “First In, First Out.” It means that the oldest supplies should be used up first.

There are two super simple ways to accomplish this.

One is to label every box, bag, package or container with the date it arrived in your kitchen. Then, place it behind any existing stock of that same product or supply in the walk-in or on the shelves. That makes it easier for busy chefs to grab the oldest product first.

While FIFO might not be quite as exciting as YOLO or even BOGO, it will help your restaurant or commercial kitchen run more safely and efficiently.

Make Sure Storage Temperatures Are Right

According to the Food and Drug Administration, food should be keep at 41°F or below, while hot food needs to reach 135°F or above.

This is to ensure that harmful bacteria never gets a chance to grow. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator as well as in the freezer. The refrigerator should operate at 40°F or below, while the freezer temperature must be 0°F or below.

Cook All Food to Temp, Too

Similarly, cooking food to the proper temperature will also prevent food borne illness (as well as dishes returned to the kitchen for being undercooked!). Chicken must be cooked to 165°F. Ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork should reach 160°F. Train your cooks to use thermometers often, rather than relying on the look or feel of a dish to know if it’s thoroughly cooked.

Food Safety Tips Are Not Enough

We’ll be honest: these food safety tips are fairly elementary. Most home cooks understand them, and most of your workers probably know the basics of keeping things clean and sanitary, too.

In order to truly feel confident that your commercial kitchen or restaurant is in compliance with all necessary regulations and guidelines, contact us. We’ll be able to better assess your needs, and help you achieve compliance, by knowing more about your kitchen!

Information About ISO 22000 Certification

Information About ISO 22000 Certification

ISO or the International Organization for Standardization, develops and publishes world renowned international standards. It is comprised of one hundred and sixty four countries, which includes the United States. It’s a non-government related group that acts as a bridge between private companies and the public. ISO 22000 Certification is a certification that deals with food safety, and was derived from ISO 9000.


Technical committees are the ones who develop and create the standards. The committees are comprised of experts from different fields, such as the industrial, business, and technical sectors. They are also the ones who request for standards to be put in place.


All proposals for new technical committees must be submitted to any ISO national member body. The member body can choose to observe or participate in the process. The ISO secretariat is the one responsible for the nomination of an individual who will act as the technical committee’s chair person.


The standard provides the specific requirements for food safety management. It includes system management, prerequisite programs, HACCP principles, and interactive communication. Reviews on the aforementioned factors were studied by a lot of experts to come up with the standard. Each element was carefully researched to prove its importance in the standardized system.


ISO provides standardization certificates to almost every type of industry. Getting certified by the organization simply means that the business or establishment meets strict standardization requirements, and the products manufactured by the company are safe for public use or consumption. It also means that there are work processes in place, which make procedures and instructions clear for every process.


Most food chains and restaurants are eager to receive this kind of credential. Safety in food preparation and handling means that there is little to no risk of acquiring an illness through food intake. The standardization integrates HACCP or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system, and uses application steps which are created by the CAC or Codex Alimentarius Commission.


The food systems utilized are the most effective ones. These are launched, operated, and updated within the structured management system’s framework, they are also involved in the organization’s overall management programs. It can be used independently, or it can be used along with the company’s existing management systems. It is often the case that companies already have their own established systems prior to getting certified by ISO.


Getting an ISO accreditation ensures the public and the company’s partners, as well as their clients, that the standardized process is used to ensure proper business flow. This means that business hours are used appropriately and effectively, since there is an effective system in place. Employees can also expect speedy completion of tasks, since there are set instructions that can be easily understood and followed under any circumstances.


ISO 22000 Certification plays a big part in keeping the techniques and systems used in order. This allows for faster and more efficient production of goods. Not only that, it deals with keeping the establishment free from accidents caused by hazardous materials and improper work flows. Hazard analysis is key to maintaining successful food management.

ISO 22000 Manual

ISO 22000 Manual

ISO 22000 is a certification standard for food safety management systems which is appropriate regardless of the step in the food chain or the size of an organization. When developing an ISO 22000 manual it is necessary to ensure the fundamentals of the standard are covered and the documentation specified in the standard is included. ISO 22000 states that an organization requires the documents necessary to ensure the effective development, implementation and updating of the food safety management system. There are specific references in the standard where it prescribes that the food safety management system will need to have documents and these should be included in an ISO 22000 Manual. The documents required are described in this article.


The starting point of any food safety management system and a demonstration of senior management commitment is the documentation, authorization and communication of a Food Safety Policy. The policy should be supported by realistic and measureable Food Safety Objectives. It is also fundamental that procedures are put in place to ensure documents and records related to food safety are controlled.


One of the basics in developing a food safety managements system is implementing prerequisite programmes or fundamental conditions which are conducive to food safety. ISO 22000 requires there to be documents that specify how prerequisite program activities are managed. Prerequisite programmes specified in the standard include:


  • construction and lay-out of buildings and associated utilities
  • lay-out of premises, including workspace and employee facilities
  • supplies of air, water, energy and other utilities
  • supporting services, including waste and sewage disposal
  • the suitability of equipment and its accessibility
  • management of purchased materials, supplies, disposals and handling of products
  • measures for the prevention of cross contamination
  • cleaning and sanitizing
  • pest control
  • personnel hygiene

This list is not finite as the standard requires ‘other aspects as appropriate’ so an ISO 22000 Manual should include all relevant prerequisites, these will be dependent on the position in the food chain for example ‘Good Agricultural Practices’ in the case of primary producers. Where appropriate procedures should also be in place to control of outsourced processes although in many organizations there is no outsourcing and this is not applicable.


The ISO 22000 standard requires a HACCP System to be in place, these documents can be part of the ISO 22000 Manual or in a separate HACCP Manual. Prior to carrying out a hazard analysis there is a requirement for relevant information required to conduct the hazard analysis including:


  • Descriptions of raw materials to the extent needed to conduct the hazard analysis
  • Descriptions of Ingredients to the extent needed to conduct the hazard analysis
  • Descriptions of product-contact materials to the extent needed to conduct the hazard analysis
  • The characteristics of end products
  • Descriptions of the intended use to the extent needed to conduct the hazard analysis
  • Descriptions of the reasonably expected handling of the end product to the extent needed to conduct the hazard analysis
  • Descriptions of any possible unintended but reasonably expected mishandling and misuse of the end product to the extent needed to conduct the hazard analysis


External documents relevant to the organization’s food safety activities including statutory, regulatory and customer requirements should be available on site and certainly used by the food safety team when conducting a hazard analysis.


A HACCP plan and Operational Prerequisite Programme plan will need to be developed by a food safety team for each product category. Descriptions of the methodology and parameters used for the categorization of control measures as belonging to the HACCP plan or Operational prerequisite programmes. The requirement for an Operational Prerequisite Programme plan is unique to ISO 22000 and is the source of some confusion. Clause 7.4.4 Selection and assessment of control measures, prescribes areas to consider when assessing control measures, because of the level of confusion we developed the ‘ISO 22000 HACCP Calculator’ which simplifies this process.


For each operational prerequisite programme the food safety hazard or hazards to be controlled, the control measures used, the monitoring procedures used, the corrections and corrective actions and the responsibilities and authorities need to be documented. Records demonstrating control at each operational prerequisite programme should be in place.


Documented HACCP plans which prescribe and identify critical control points (CCPs), the food safety hazards to be controlled at each critical control point, the control measures used, the monitoring procedures used, the critical limits applied at each critical control point, the corrections and corrective action to be taken if critical limits are exceeded and responsibilities and authorities. Critical control point monitoring records should be in place in order to demonstrate control.


There are number of fundamental food safety procedures that should be documented and included in the ISO 22000 manual these include procedures for the handling of potentially unsafe products, for withdrawing products, for corrections and for corrective action. The ISO 22000 standard is specific in prescribing what should be included in the procedure for corrective action such that the procedure needs to include that specifies the need to identify and eliminate the cause of detected nonconformities, to prevent recurrence, and to bring the process or system back into control after nonconformity is encountered. The corrective action procedure must include a review of non-conformances including customer complaints, a review of trends in monitoring results that may indicate development towards loss of control and a review to determine the causes of non-conformances. Procedures should define how the actions needed are determined and are implemented including the responsibility and authority levels within the organization. Again records of corrective actions should be maintained and also records of the review of corrections carried out to ensure that they are effective.


As with all management systems, documented procedures for Internal Auditing including responsibilities and requirements for planning and conducting audits should be in place. The procedure should define how results are reported and how the results of internal audits are reviewed; this is normally during management review of the food safety management system. Records of reviews and Internal Audits should be maintained.


The extent of documentation required in order to achieve ISO 22000 will differ from one organization to another depending on the size and complexity of the operation and the competence of personnel, however, the procedures and records referred to should be considered an essential part of any ISO 22000 manual.

FSSC 22000 Food Certification

FSSC 22000 Food Certification

FSSC 22000 is a GFSI recognised food safety certification scheme that is growing in popularity throughout the world. The FSSC 22000 scheme sets out the requirements for certification bodies to develop, implement and operate a certification scheme to assess the food safety systems of food organisations and to issue a certificate. Initially approved in 2010, the FSSC 22000 certification scheme was successfully re-benchmarked and recognized by GFSI against GFSI Guidance Document Version 6 in February 2013.


The FSSC 22000 scheme based on the food safety management standard ISO 22000, relevant food sector publicly available specifications or ISO technical specifications for food safety prerequisite programs and ISO/TS 22003 Food safety management systems – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems. This allows the scheme to cover a broad range of food sector categories as ISO 22000 covers fundamental food safety management requirements whilst relevant food sector category prerequisite programmes are prescribed in separate specifications that are specific to the food sector. In the case of food manufacturers that process or manufacture animal products perishable vegetal products, products with a long shelf life and (other) food ingredients like additives, vitamins and bio-cultures the FSSC 22000 scheme is based on ISO 22000: 2005 ‘Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain’ and ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 ‘Prerequisite programmes on food safety – Part 1: Food manufacturing’.


So there are 3 elements to meeting the requirements of FSSC 22000 and achieving certification:


  • A. Compliance with ISO 22000
  • B. Compliance with Food Sector Category Prerequisite Programmes
  • C. Compliance with FSSC 22000 additional requirements


A. Compliance with ISO 22000 ISO 22000 requirements


Requirements are described in the clauses of ISO 22000:2005 Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain. The clauses are listed below:


  • 4. Food Safety Management System
  • 4.1 General Requirements
  • 4.2 Documentation
  • 4.2.2 Document Control
  • 4.2.2 Document Control
  • 4.2.3 Record Control
  • 5. Management Responsibility
  • 5.1 Management Commitment
  • 5.2 Food Safety Policy
  • 5.3 FSQMS Planning
  • 5.4 Responsibility & Authority
  • 5.5 Food Safety Team Leader
  • 5.6 Communication
  • 5.6.1 External Communication
  • 5.6.2 Internal Communication
  • 5.7 Contingency preparedness and response
  • 5.8 Management Review
  • 6. Resource Management
  • 6.1 Provision of Resources
  • 6.2 Human Resources
  • 6.2.2 Competence, Awareness and Training
  • 6.3 Infrastructure
  • 6.4 Work Environment
  • 7. Planning and Realisation of Safe Products
  • 7.1 General Planning and Realisation of Safe Products
  • 7.2 Prerequisite Programmes:
  • a) construction and lay-out of buildings and associated utilities
  • b) lay-out of premises, including workspace and employee facilities
  • c) supplies of air, water, energy and other utilities
  • d) supporting services, including waste and sewage disposal
  • e) the suitability of equipment and its accessibility
  • f) management of purchased materials, supplies, disposals and handling of products
  • g) measures for the prevention of cross contamination
  • h) cleaning and sanitizing
  • i) pest control
  • j) personnel hygiene
  • k) other aspects as appropriate
  • 7.3 Preliminary steps to enable Hazard analysis
  • 7.4 Hazard Analysis
  • 7.5 Operational Control
  • 7.5 Establishing the Operational PRPs
  • 7.5 Establishing the Operational Pre-requisites
  • 7.6 Establishing the HACCP plan
  • 7.7 Updating of preliminary information and documents specifying the PRP(s) and HACCP plan
  • 7.8 Verification Planning
  • 7.9 Traceability System
  • 7.10.1 Corrections
  • 7.10.2 Corrective Actions
  • 7.10.3 Handling of Potentially unsafe products
  • 7.10.4 Withdrawals
  • 8. Validation, Verification and Improvement of the FSMS
  • 8.1 General
  • 8.2 Validation of Control Measure Combinations
  • 8.3 Control of Monitoring and Measuring
  • 8.4 FSQMS Verification
  • 8.4.1 Internal audits
  • 8.4.2 Evaluation of Individual Verification results
  • 8.4.3 Analysis of results of Verification activities
  • 8.5 Improvement
  • 8.5.1 Continual Improvement
  • 8.5.2 FSQMS updating


B. Compliance with Food Sector Category Prerequisite Programmes


Food Sector Category Prerequisite Programmes are prescribed and referenced in a number of ways, ISO 22000 requires in clause 7.2 that organisations shall select and implement specific “Prerequisite programmes” (PRP’s) for these basic hygiene conditions and shall consider and utilize appropriate information when selecting the programme (e.g. the requirements as prescribed in the codex general principles of food hygiene, codex codes of practices, food safety legislation and possible customer requirements). In addition the FSSC 22000 scheme includes prerequisite programme specifications: ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 ‘Prerequisite programmes on food safety – Part 1: Food manufacturing’ for food manufacturers and PAS 223:2011 ‘Prerequisite programmes and design requirements for food safety in the manufacture and provision of food packaging for food packaging manufacturers’.


Specific food manufacturing prerequisite requirements are prescribed in the sections of ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 ‘Prerequisite programmes on food safety – Part 1: Food manufacturing’:


  • 4. Construction and Layout of Buildings
  • 4.1 General requirements
  • 4.2 Environment
  • 4.3 Locations of establishments
  • 5. Layout of Premises Workspace
  • 5.1 General requirements
  • 5.2 Internal design, layout and traffic patterns
  • 5.3 Internal structures
  • 5.4 Location of equipment
  • 5.5 Laboratory facilities
  • 5.6 Temporary/mobile premises and vending machines
  • 5.7 Storage of food, packaging materials, ingredients and non food chemicals
  • 6. Utilities – Air, Water, Energy
  • 6.1 General requirements
  • 6.2 Water supply
  • 6.3 Boiler chemicals
  • 6.4 Air quality ventilation
  • 6.5 Compressed air and other gases
  • 6.6 Lighting
  • 7. Waste Disposal
  • 7.1 General requirements
  • 7.2 Containers for waste and inedible or hazardous substances
  • 7.3 Waste management and removal
  • 7.4 Drains and drainage
  • 8. Equipment Suitability, Cleaning and Maintenance
  • 8.1 General requirements
  • 8.2 Hygienic design
  • 8.3 Product contact surfaces
  • 8.4 Temperature control and monitoring equipment
  • 8.5 Cleaning plant, utensils and equipment
  • 8.6 Preventive and corrective maintenance
  • 9. Management of Purchased Materials
  • 9.1 General requirements
  • 9.2 Selection and management of suppliers
  • 9.3 Incoming material requirements (raw/ingredients/packaging)
  • 10. Measures for Prevention of Cross Contamination
  • 10.1 General requirements
  • 10.2 Microbiological cross contamination
  • 10.3 Allergen management
  • 10.4 Physical contamination
  • 11. Cleaning And Sanitizing
  • 11.1 General requirements
  • 11.2 Cleaning and sanitizing agents and tools
  • 11.3 Cleaning and sanitizing programmes
  • 11.4 Cleaning in place (CIP) systems
  • 11.5 Monitoring sanitation effectiveness
  • 12. Pest Control
  • 12.1 General requirements
  • 12.2 Pest control programmes
  • 12.3 Preventing access
  • 12.4 Harbourage and infestations
  • 12.5 Monitoring and detection
  • 12.6 Eradication
  • 13. Personnel Hygiene And Employee Facilities
  • 13.1 General requirements
  • 13.2 Personnel hygiene facilities and toilets
  • 13.3 Staff canteens and designated eating areas
  • 13.4 Work wear and protective clothing
  • 13.5 Health status
  • 13.6 Illness and injuries
  • 13.7 Personal cleanliness
  • 13.8 Personal behaviour
  • 13.9 Visitors
  • 14. Rework
  • 14.1 General requirements
  • 14.2 Storage. Identification and traceability
  • 14.3 Rework usage
  • 15. Product Recall Procedures
  • 15.1 General requirements
  • 15.2 Product recall requirements
  • 16. Warehousing
  • 16.1 General requirements
  • 16.2 Warehousing requirements
  • 16.3 Vehicles, conveyances and containers
  • 17. Product Information/Consumer Awareness
  • 17.1 Product information
  • 17.2 Labelling of pre-packaged foods
  • 18. Food Defence, Biovigilance And Bioterrorism 18.1 General requirements
  • 18.2 Access controls


Specific food packaging manufacturing prerequisite requirements are prescribed in the sections of PAS 223:2011 Prerequisite programmes and design requirements for food safety in the manufacture and provision of food packaging for food packaging manufacturers’ (The equivalent ISO document is ISO/DTS 22002-4 Prerequisite programmes on food safety — Part 4: Food packaging manufacturing):


  • 4 Establishments
  • 4.1 General requirements
  • 4.2 Environment
  • 4.3 Locations of establishments
  • 5 Layout of premises and workspace
  • 5.1 General requirements
  • 5.2 Internal design, layout and traffic patterns
  • 5.3 Internal structures and fittings
  • 5.4 Equipment
  • 5.5 Temporary/mobile structures
  • 5.6 Storage
  • 6 Utilities
  • 6.1 General requirements
  • 6.2 Water supply
  • 6.3 Air quality and ventilation
  • 6.4 Compressed air and other gases
  • 6.5 Lighting
  • 7 Waste
  • 7.1 General requirements
  • 7.2 Containers for waste
  • 7.3 Waste management and removal
  • 7.4 Drains and drainage
  • 8 Equipment suitability and maintenance
  • 8.1 General requirements
  • 8.2 Hygienic design
  • 8.3 Food Packaging contact surfaces
  • 8.4 Testing and Monitoring
  • 8.5 Preventive and corrective maintenance
  • 9 Purchased materials and services
  • 9.1 General requirements
  • 9.2 Selection and management of suppliers
  • 9.3 Incoming raw material requirements
  • 10 Contamination and migration
  • 10.1 General requirements
  • 10.2 Microbiological contamination
  • 10.3 Physical contamination
  • 10.4 Chemical contamination
  • 10.5 Chemical migration
  • 10.6 Allergen management
  • 11 Cleaning
  • 11.1 General requirements
  • 11.2 Cleaning agents and tools
  • 11.3 Cleaning programmes
  • 11.4 Monitoring cleaning programme effectiveness
  • 12 Pest control


C. Compliance with FSSC 22000 additional requirements

To ensure control of food safety and compliance with the GFSI Guidance Document additional specific requirements for the scheme are included in FSSC 22000 Certification scheme for food safety systems in compliance with ISO 22000: 2005 and technical specifications for sector PRPs PART I Requirements for Organizations that Require Certification. An example of an addition requirement is that an Inventory of Applicable Regulations is required.

ISO 22000 Requirements for Prerequisite Programmes

ISO 22000 Requirements for Prerequisite Programmes

A prerequisite or prerequisite programme (PRP) is defined in ISO 22000 as food safety basic conditions and activities that are necessary to maintain a hygienic environment suitable for the production, handling and provision of safe end products and safe food for human consumption. The prerequisite programmes needed will depend on the segment of the food chain in which the organization operates. Examples of equivalent terms are: Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Good Hygienic Practice (GHP) and Good Distribution Practice (GDP).


In clause 7.2 Prerequisite programmes (PRPs) ISO 22000 prescribes the need to establish, implement and maintain prerequisite programmes to assist in controlling the likelihood of introducing food safety hazards to the product through the work environment, prevention of biological, chemical and physical contamination of the product(s), including cross contamination between products, and controlling food safety hazard levels in the product and product processing environment.


ISO 22000 requires appropriate prerequisite programmes with regard to food safety, the size and type of the operation and the nature of the products being manufactured and/or handled. Relevant statutory and regulatory requirements for prerequisite programmes also need to be considered as well as customer requirements, recognized guidelines, codes of practices, national, international or sector standards.


ISO 22000 specifically requires the following to be considered:


  • construction and lay-out of buildings and associated utilities;
  • lay-out of premises, including workspace and employee facilities;
  • supplies of air, water, energy and other utilities;
  • supporting services, including waste and sewage disposal;
  • the suitability of equipment and its accessibility for cleaning and maintenance;
  • management of purchased materials (e.g. raw materials, ingredients, chemicals and packaging), supplies (e.g. water, air, steam and ice), disposals (e.g. waste and sewage) and handling of products (e.g. storage and transportation);
  • measures for the prevention of cross contamination;
  • cleaning and sanitizing;
  • pest control;
  • personnel hygiene;
  • other aspects as appropriate.

Documents should specify how prerequisite programmes are managed and records of verifications should be maintained.


Construction and lay-out of buildings and associated utilities – Good hygienic design and construction and the provision of adequate facilities is necessary to enable hazards to be effectively controlled.


Lay-out of premises, including workspace and employee facilities – The internal design and layout of buildings should permit good food hygiene practices, they should be built of durable materials and be easy to maintain and clean. Employee hygiene facilities should be available to ensure that personal hygiene is maintained.


Supplies of air, water, energy and other utilities – There should be an adequate supply of potable water as specified in WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality and hygienic facilities for water storage and distribution. Non-potable water, if used on site, should be segregated to prevent contamination.


Supporting services, including waste and sewage disposal – Adequate drainage and waste disposal systems and facilities should be in place to prevent contamination. Factory drainage and that from toilet facilities should be separate. Flood prevention measures should be in place to prevent contamination with sewage.


Suitability of equipment and its accessibility for cleaning and maintenance – Food contact equipment should be designed and constructed to ensure that it can be cleaned and maintained. Operations should then ensure that equipment is kept in a hygienic condition.


Management of purchased materials, supplies, disposals and handling of products – Systems should be in place to manage purchases, supplies, disposals, transport and distribution. Supplier assurance is fundamental in ensuring the reliable provision of safe materials, purchased materials should be verified. Appropriate facilities should be in place for the storage, handling and distribution of food.


Measures for the prevention of cross contamination – Measures including segregation of raw and processed products should be implemented to ensure that cross contamination of the finished product is prevented.


Cleaning – Appropriate cleaning and sanitation procedures should be in place for facilities, equipment, tools and the environment to ensure hygienic conditions are provided for the handling of food and the prevention of contamination.


Pest control – Measures need to be in place to prevent the access of pests, discourage their activity and harbourage on site and for the elimination of pests and the hazards they are likely to cause. Personnel need to be trained to identify and report pest activity. Incoming materials need to be inspected before acceptance to ensure they are free from pest activity.


Personnel hygiene – Appropriate standards of personal hygiene should be in place to prevent the contamination of food. Staff should wear suitable protective clothing, cover cuts and wounds with suitable waterproof dressings. Personnel should be washing their hands when cleanliness may affect food safety such as before conducting food handling activities. Rules for hand washing should be in place and measures that can lead to food contamination such as smoking, spitting, eating, sneezing or coughing should be prevented in food handling areas.


Other aspects as appropriate – Other prerequisite measures should be considered that are viewed as appropriate for the type of food being handled. These measures are described in CODEX guidelines. There are also measures such as the control of allergens and food defence which have been recognised more recently as having an elevated in importance in food safety.


For the prerequisites specifically mentioned in ISO 22000, widely recognised requirements are documented in more detail in Codex CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev.4-2003), Recommended International Code of Practice — General Principles of Food Hygiene; incorporates Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and guidelines for its application.


ISO 22000 refers to other Codex Codes and Guidelines providing examples of control measures, including prerequisite programmes and guidance for their selection and use, these include Guidelines for the Validation of Food Hygiene Control Measures and Principles for the Application of Traceability/Product Tracing with respect to Food Inspection and Certification.


There are also references to CODEX Commodity Specific Codes and Guidelines for feed, foods for special intended uses, specifically processed foods, ingredients for foods, fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, milk and milk products, egg and egg products, fish and fishery products, waters, transportation. Plus there are reference to Codex food safety hazard specific codes and control measure-specific codes and guidelines.


References: https://www.iso.org http://www.codexalimentarius.net