by Renaud Anjoran
As one might expect, the food industry takes safety issues (i.e. not making consumers sick) very seriously. The main standards don’t focus on “quality” (i.e. making sure the taste is good) but on “safety”.
It seems like not a month goes by without a serious food scandal in China, so I thought it would be interesting to look at that industry.
For a food factory, there are 3 steps in a logical progress, from GMP to HACCP and finally to ISO 22001. I am going to introduce each one briefly in this article.
It is relatively easy to set up a GMP system. It mainly includes these three elements:
Most food factories apply GMPs, but seldom in a systematic way (with monitoring, followup on corrective actions, etc.). In China this is applied in very inconsistent ways.
(Note: for warehousing operations, GMP and ISO 9001 are usually sufficient. There is no real need for HACCP and ISO 2001, even though it is possible and easy since there are no critical control points.)
An HACCP program requires an analysis of all potential issues for each product. This might be easy for a factory that only produces a few products, all of which follow roughly the same process. But it is hard for companies such as supermarkets that deal with many product categories.
For each process, the company has to:
This standard includes GMP, HACCP, along with some other requirements that are mostly similar to ISO 9001 (management review, internal audits…)
This is why most food factories that have implemented a HACCP system are also ISO 22001 certified.