ISO 22000 explained in pictures

As soon as food product engineer Nuno F. Soares learned that ISO 22000 for food safety management would be updated, he knew he wanted to write about it.

Soares has close to 20 years of experience in the food industry as a quality and plant manager. He has published an e-book about implementing ISO 22000 and FS 22000 with online publisher Wiley, along with scientific articles, and regular food safety articles on LinkedIn.

When Soares set out to learn the ins and outs of ISO 22000:2018, he drew sketches to understand the clauses in the standard and how they come together.

“Sometimes the language used in food safety management system clauses is difficult to understand,” Soares said. “So, I drew a box and wrote the message then linked it to another box. If the clauses could be explained in small diagrams and if it helped me, perhaps it could help other professionals. So, I decided to put everything together in an e-book.”

The resulting ISO 22000:2018 Explained in 25 Diagrams e-book is the sum of three articles and 25 diagrams that Soares prepared to describe the changes in the new standard. The publication also features a table to help people understand the similarities and differences in the previous version of the standard and the revision, along with expert interviews to address common concerns regarding ISO 22000.

“The e-book gives people who want to implement ISO 22000 a clearer vision of the clauses,” Soares said. “For people with little experience and who want to implement ISO 22000, the e-book will give them a better idea. And for people with more experience, it can be a tool you can use in training.”

The e-book is also available as an adaptable version that organizations can customize with their logo to suit their needs.

ISO 22000 was first published in 2005 and is the most common food safety system in the world.

“From the last numbers I was able to get, in 2016 more than 32,000 organisations were certified by ISO and more than 14,000 organisations were certified by FSSC 22000. So, there are a lot of organizations that will have to adapt to this new update of the standard.

“In the past two years, the numbers have stagnated and that is probably because most people are now transitioning to FSSC 22000 if they want to be certified under the umbrella of GFSI. I believe that the growth of ISO 22000 will be limited by these circumstances.

“Nevertheless, I still foresee ISO 22000 will be used all over the world and will grow in the next few years. Food safety systems are here to stay and demand will continue to increase as organizations improve food safety and as we work together and think globally.

“I believe, in general, all food safety systems will increase and organizations will have to maintain their food safety systems and others will have to improve their systems to adapt sooner or later.”

Soares believes that we should not only prepare better food safety professionals for the future, but also work to solve immediate problems in the world. That is why he joined Work for Good to independently guarantee that 10 per cent of the sales of the e-book will be donated to WaterAid to help provide potable water and improve hand washing where it is most needed.