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FSSC 22000 version 4.1 – are you ready for your first audit?

Janice Giddy
 February 16, 2018
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Food Safety


FSSC 22000 certification helps organisations manage risk by developing a system for the continuous management and monitoring of potential food safety hazards.  It helps suppliers maintain their current customers and expand their market reach, since certified companies now require their suppliers to become certified against GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) recognised standards such the FSSC 22000.


Version 4 of the FSSC 22000 certification scheme was published in December 2016 and certification under this new version has been taking place since January 2017.  As from 1 January 2018, it will be mandatory for organisations to be certified under version 4 of the FSSC 22000.


In order to keep up with changing market expectations, the FSSC 22000 certification scheme was revised with the new audit requirements (version 4) published in December 2016, and a further update (version 4.1) published in July 2017.  The main reason for the revision of the FSSC 22000 certification scheme was to align it with the benchmark requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative’s Guidance Document version 7.1, which was published in April 2017.  The changes also allowed improvement of the FSSC 22000 scheme in response to feedback received from the industry as well as certification and accreditation bodies.


Since the revised FSSC 22000 scheme is based on the new GFSI requirements, it is no surprise that the Food Fraud and Food defence clauses are the biggest changes to the Scheme.  There has also been the introduction of an unannounced audit programme.


Companies have to implement the new audit requirements in terms of the revised standards.  Since the revision of the FSSC scheme, retailers have embraced the changes and have already started incorporating the new requirements into their standard checklists.  Retailers are also now expecting suppliers to comply with the new requirements starting from January 2018, suppliers will be audited based on the requirements for  FSSC 22000 version 4.1.  Therefore, they need to be ready and prepared before January 2018.  If a supplier is not compliant, the gap will affect their audit score and performance.  


One of the biggest changes in the revised FSCC 22000 scheme is the prevention of Food Fraud and Food Defence.
According to the changes in the Food Fraud clause, organisations will need to meet the following requirements before they can get certified:
- Have a documented Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment to identify any potential vulnerabilities to acts of food fraud.
- Develop control measures for the mitigation of any identified food fraud vulnerabilities and prioritise them.
- Have a documented Food Fraud Prevention plan that shows how the organisation has implemented, managed and controlled preventive measures, in accordance with the organisation’s food safety management system.
- Review the Food Fraud Prevention plan annually or after any actual or potential failure of a preventive measure.


In order to be compliant with the new changes in the Food defence clause, organisations need to meet the following requirements:
- Have a documented Food Defence Threat Assessment to identify any potential acts of sabotage, vandalism and/or terrorism and to identify any potential vulnerabilities to such acts.
- Develop control measures for the mitigation of any identified threats and prioritise them against the threats.
- Have a documented Food Defence plan that shows how the organisation has implemented, managed and controlled the control measures.
- Review the Food Defence plan annually or after any actual or potential failure of a control measure.
To provide your organisation with the tools and knowledge required for a successful certification project, Entecom has courses that have been specifically developed to bring you up to speed with the revised FSSC 22000 certification scheme requirements. Whether your company is already FSSC 22000 certified and you wish to hear about the updates or whether your company is considering FSSC 22000 certification and you wish to gain an understanding of what the certification entails, these workshops are what you need.


Click here for the Food Fraud course brochure.
Click here for the FSSC 22000 3 day workshop.
Click here for the FSSC 22000 vs 3 to 4.1 Bridging course brochure. The Bridging workshop will also identify your current compliance and the gaps in the compliance to the new standard.

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