ISO 22000 makes brass liable for end products

New Delhi, Jan 31 | Updated: Feb 1 2006, 05:30am hrs
The top management in Indian food sector companies like HLL, Britania, Nestle, ITC, etc may soon find themselves liable for end products with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) adopting the ISO 22000 for future food safety and management systems accreditation. The standards require that food safety management system is the responsibility of the top management.

The management must provide measurable business targets that support food safety. It further requires that they have a commitment towards making the company policy known and be able to demonstrate effective internal and external (to suppliers and purchasers) communication within the company in this regard.

ISO 22000 standards, issued by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and adopted by the BIS, cover the entire food chain, beginning with the feed producer, primary producer, food manufacturers to end retailers and service outlets while also covering related organisations like packaging material cleaning agents, additives and ingredients.

While these standards incorporate the hazard analysis critical control points measures framed by Codex, they also make additional demands from companies to work in areas like in-house and external communication, good manufacturing practices (GMPs) like management measures and acceptable levels for critical parameters.

Speaking to FE, a BIS official said that these standards are necessary to bring Indian food products up to the mark with global standards. With ISO 22000 being recognised as a globally accepted standard, it will be possible to achieve this.

The standards also require the firms to provide documentation requirements before releasing the products into the market. These must state that the product has undergone the necessary control measures (eg: heat treatment, etc) or that they are within the acceptable limit parameters for risk factors.