FSSC 22000 Ver. 4: An Overview of the Main Changes

FSSC 22000 Ver. 4: An Overview of the Main Changes

The widely adopted certification scheme FSSC 22000 for food safety management system certification has been recently revised and published, in order to stay in tune with the changing expectations of the market. From January 2018 onwards, certification to the new standard, FSSC 22000 V4 will be mandatory. As one of the leading certification bodies for the FSSC 22000 scheme, DQS has prepared an overview of the main changes.

Unannounced audits with FSSC 22000

Unlike for BRC and IFS certification, the unannounced audits are not optional but mandatory: at least one of the two surveillance audits must be unannounced. 

Certified sites can also choose to have both surveillance audits unannounced. The initial audit and the recertification audit, however, can never be unannounced.

As far as the time window is concerned, the unannounced audit needs to be conducted at any point between 3 and 12 months after the last day of the previous audit. The next announced audit shall be within 24 months of the last day of the previous announced audit.

Preventing Food Fraud

One of the most conspicuous new requirements, applicable to any scope, is the requirement on food fraud prevention. According to FSSC 22000 Version 4, certified organizations shall have a documented food fraud vulnerability assessment procedure in place, in order to identify potential vulnerabilities and prioritize food fraud mitigation measures.

Another noteworthy change in the new version is mandatory auditor rotation. Auditors will no longer be permitted to audit the same organization for longer than three years in a row.

Some and more leaders in food industry are requiring their suppliers to get management system certification against FSSC 22000 rather than ISO 22000. If you have any specific questions on FSSC 22000 or ISO 22000 food safety management system certification or need auditor training courses, please feel free to contact DQS-HK.