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The Release of Version 5.1 of FSSC 22000

05 March 2021
On 3 November 2020, the Foundation FSSC 22000 published Version 5.1 of its FSSC 22000 certification Scheme.

The main reasons for an updated version are compliance with the latest benchmarking requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and strengthened requirements for Certification Body (CB) performance as part of continuous improvement.

You can read the FSSC original news article here.

Version 5.1 is applicable to all audits from 1st April 2021.

Key changes include requirements specific to multi-site certification, product design & development, and food safety culture. The Scheme has, therefore, been updated to ensure compliance with these changes.

The GFSI food safety culture requirements specify elements related to employee communication, training, and performance measurement. Since the ISO 22000:2018 standard already covered these topics, the Foundation has released a guidance document to demonstrate how these food safety culture requirements are being met.

Full and partially remote auditing options have been included in Annex 9 of the new version of the Standard.  Although full remote audits are not yet recognised by GFSI, the approach has extensive support from stakeholders and retailers.

The Board of Stakeholders (BoS) Decision list is a document which contains decisions applicable to FSSC 22000 Scheme. The decisions overrule or provide further clarification on existing Scheme rules and have to be implemented and applied within the defined transition period. The decision list is dynamic and can be adjusted by the BoS when deemed necessary.

The board of stakeholders decision list has been updated and can be downloaded here.

Main changes to FSSC additional requirements

  • Inclusion of Purchased Materials within Management of Services and the use of unapproved suppliers in case of emergency.

  • Product labelling – now includes customer, allergen specific and unlabelled product.

New requirements:

  • Storage and warehousing

  • Cross contamination

  • PRP Verification

  • Product development

  • Health Status (animal feed only)

  • Additional requirements for Multi-site certification

Maria Constable, NQA's Food Certification Manager explained "The new version of the Food Safety Standard is a positive drive to further align the food industry globally and comes at an important time with Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic upon us. Although there are no drastic differences, the small changes and additions are key for the continued improvement and assurance of the Standard and those who work within its guidelines."

For more information and guidance, the latest scheme documents can be downloaded from the FSSC website here.