Top tip: Is ISO 22000 certified equipment worth it?
Introduced in 2005 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as an industry-specific offshoot of ISO 9001, ISO 22000 has quickly emerged as one of the most important global food & beverage (F&B) quality standards, and plays a vital role in ensuring quality and transparency. But how far should ISO 22000 certification spread within the F&B industry?
At Atlas Copco, we believe that because ISO 22000 certification is important for our F&B customers, it is important for us. That’s why Atlas Copco recently became the first compressor manufacturer to be awarded ISO 22000 certification for our Oil-free Air Division’s production facility in Antwerp, Belgium. Compressors are vital for countless applications in the F&B production process. Sorting and ejecting, mixing, aerating substances, and inflating or stuffing products are just a few examples of the interactions between compressed air and the food chain, highlighting why it is important for manufacturers to become certified.
The benefits of working with a certified compressor manufacturer are clear:
Food and beverage customers can have peace of mind that a key piece of manufacturing equipment, the compressor, was designed and assembled in a controlled, clean and safe environment.
Increased transparency, as Atlas Copco has a documented Food Safety Management System (FSMS) in place.
Contribution to customers’ ISO 22000 certification process. For example, Atlas Copco’s ISO 22000 experts are happy to be consulted and used in our customers’ ISO 22000 process. Furthermore, using key equipment from ISO 22000 certified suppliers simplifies the certification process for F&B customers.
A revision of the ISO 22000 standard is currently underway with the update expected to be published in 2017. As an ISO 22000 expert, Atlas Copco can assist F&B customers as they go through the updated process.
Why did Atlas Copco choose to become certified?
Even though compressed air is essential in the F&B industry, Atlas Copco was the first compressor manufacturer to take the initiative to look into ISO 22000 certification for its products. This required an investment from both Atlas Copco and Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance, our auditing firm, to establish a new type of procedure within the certification process.
After several intensive workshops and comprehensively executed audits, it was proven that Atlas Copco’s Oil-free Air production facility in Antwerp meets all the ISO 22000 requirements. This means that the site is now certified as having systems in place that consistently provide not only oil-free Z compressors, but also blowers, dryers, filters and air treatment products that are safe for the F&B industry.
It is clear that manufacturer certification benefits the industry, making ISO 22000 certification worth the effort of compliance. But to achieve the best possible results from the standard, Atlas Copco believes that the F&B industry should start pushing for greater manufacturer certification. This can be achieved by introducing supplier ISO 22000 certification as a key requirement in RFPs and making them part of ISO 22000 prerequisite programmes (PRPs). Together, we would like to expand the reach of ISO 22000, integrating it further into all aspects of the food chain and thereby increasing its worth for both the industry and end-consumers.
ISO 22000: a quick overview
The ISO 22000 standard demonstrates an organisation’s ability to control food safety hazards. It is aimed at any organisation in the food and beverage industry, regardless of size, that wishes to implement systems that consistently produce safe food and drinks products.
The comprehensive standard covers all aspects of the industry, making it easy to compare and maintain food safety standards, while ensuring traceability as food travels from the fields, through processing, to the consumer’s plate.
ISO 22000 uses the Quality Management System approach, tailored to apply to Food Safety, and incorporates the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Principles (GMP). It also encourages the harmonisation of existing national and private standards into one international certification.