Revisions to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000 are in the works as new food safety management requirements are set to be published in 2017, which will be 12 years after the standard was first published.

The ISO 22000 is an international standard that lays out the rules and requirements for a food safety management system across the entire span of the food chain.

Last year, users of the standard provided feedback that revealed disparities and areas of confusion in the current version of ISO 22000. Some concepts are redundant, and others need more explanation. In the version planned for 2017, there will be a targeted focus on the following:

  • Clarify certain key concepts, especially critical control points required to be managed, operational programmes needed, approach to risks, product withdrawal and recall, and a combination of external control measures
  • Update terms and definitions
  • Make the standard simpler and more concise
  • Avoid making the content too prescriptive
  • Ensure a greater coverage of SMEs

Despite these planned changes and updates, ISO 22000 will still follow the same format as other standards--using the same structure and terminology--to minimize confusion for companies working towards certification in other management systems standards.

The ISO 22000 revisions are spearheaded by an ISO working group (ISO/TC 34/SC 17/WG 8). They met in February to go over possible standard updates, and they plan to gather again in the fall to complete a second draft.