Standards are typically used as a universal measuring tool to evaluate the efficiency and quality of any process. Depending on the industry, these standards can vary, and often keep a company or manufacturer accountable for their products or services. This can be critical in the food industry, as customers expect the highest quality when they enter a restaurant, buy products from a grocery store, or walk into a market.
Food safety and quality management is one certification that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) offers to streamline all processes on a global scale. The ISO is comprised of global representatives that agree on particular standards for several industries, and as of 2010, ISO 9001, a quality management system certification, reached one billion certifications worldwide. This means that more companies are turning toward the ISO’s standards to increase the quality and reliability of their business.
For food safety, ISO certification is a critical part of reducing food poisoning, unsafe practices, and poor food handling mechanisms. Here are some of the main features of the food and safety certification.
- Certified quality auditors will work with poultry farmers to ensure that they are using safe practices to export chicken, turkey, and other poultry. These auditors look at the cleanliness of the farm, refrigeration, hygiene, and storage to determine how well a poultry farm adheres to international regulations. They also consider the method of slaughtering as part of the certification process. Because of the extensive assessment, obtaining an ISO 22000, the specific code ISO food safety certification, can take a few years.
- Products from farms ultimately end up at markets and at wholesalers who distribute these items to restaurants and other food vendors. It would be beneficial for a restaurant to get food safety certification in order to serve their patrons food they can trust. A Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points certification is common for many restaurants, but they can add to their credibility with ISO 22000, which involves a more in depth look at a restaurant’s overall functioning. An auditor will take management, planning, execution, and communication procedures into account, and evaluate a restaurant’s food safety policies to determine whether they meet international standards.
- ISO 22000 is also highly compatible with an ISO 9001 certification. The latter is quality management system certification. Together, these two certifications create standards that improve and maintain the quality and safety of food products from the farm, all the way to a customer in a grocery store. Every part of the food chain is analyzed for efficiency, how the food is manufactured, as well as packaging, and distribution. Seeking both of these certifications could be the highly beneficial for any company in the food industry.
With a quality management system certification and ISO 22000, food industry specialists can be sure that they are doing their best to provide consumers with top quality products. This boosts their credibility, and helps consumers trust in their processes, which could eventually lead to more visibility on a global scale.