The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Board of Directors has announced that the FSSC 22000 scheme (October 2011 issue) has been successfully re-benchmarked by GFSI and has achieved recognition against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition. FSSC 22000 has been recognized against Animal Conversion, Pre-process Handling of Plant Products, Processing of Perishable Animal Products, Processing of Perishable Plant Products, Processing of Perishable Animal and Plant Products (Mixed Products), Processing of Ambient Stable Products, Production of (Bio) Chemicals and Production of Food Packaging.
Over the course of the re-benchmarking process, the GFSI Benchmark Committee compared the requirements for food safety scheme ownership, management and supporting systems outlined in the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition against the detailed documentation and objective evidence provided by FSSC 22000 for each requirement. This process comprised numerous exchanges of documents until the Benchmark Committee were satisfied that the requirements outlined in the Guidance Document had been met. Once reviewed by the Benchmark Committee, the application was released to over 9000 GFSI stakeholders for a 1-month global consultation, which speaks to the transparent approach to benchmarking that is embedded in the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition. GFSI has responded directly to every stakeholder who commented during the consultation.
The re-benchmarking exercise against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition represented a significant change from the previous approach against the Fifth Edition. Apart from strengthening the requirements for the management of schemes, the major change in the Sixth Edition is the expansion of the document to cover primary production, processing and supporting activities in a more robust way, taking a scope specific approach to eventually cover all parts of the food supply chain.