The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the FSSC hope to reduce foodborne diseases; ISO updates standards

UNIDO and the FSSC signed an agreement to promote food safety in low- and middle-income countries.

The partnership between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the non-profit organizations that administer the FSSC 22000 certification is set to run for an initial period of three years.

The goal is to develop food safety systems in some low- and middle-income countries through capacity-building to reduce the socio-economic impacts of foodborne diseases.

Each year, two countries will receive support in creating a food safety culture. It will involve food safety practitioners, small and medium enterprises, national associations and food safety authorities to ensure that the foods they manufacture or control are safe for local consumption.

Reduce the impact of foodborne infection

Bernardo Calzadella-Sarmiento, Managing Director of UNIDO’s Directorate of Digitization, Technology and Agribusiness, said the agency has a track record of promoting food safety along the value chain through capacity building initiatives.

“We are committed to our strategic partnership with the FSSC to reduce the socio-economic impact of foodborne diseases in selected low- and middle-income countries: global food safety is a shared responsibility that requires international collaboration and partnerships,” he said.

The project will share knowledge to support capacity building in food safety for local production and consumption in developing countries. FSSC will join existing technical cooperation and new joint ventures.

Alden Hillebrands, Director General of the FSSC, said: “Beside partnering to support capacity building in food safety for domestic production and consumption in developing countries, the FSSC also actively engages through knowledge sharing to support and enhance the development of local food safety systems.”

The new ISO standards are out

Meanwhile, on World Food Safety Day, the revised ISO 22003 Standards on Food Safety Management Systems (Parts 1 and 2) were published.

The first part sets out the audit and certification requirements for the Food Safety Management System (FSMS). Part 2 covers products, processes, and services, including food safety systems.

Kayleigh Sheehan, director general of operations for the Joint Australian and New Zealand Accreditation Authority (JAS-ANZ) and part of the working group that has updated the texts, said the two standards support industry organizations to obtain food safety certification.

“It also provides regulators and consumers with confidence that certification bodies that obtain food safety certification meet the minimum standard requirements that provide confidence in the food safety results achieved.”

The ISO 22003 standard includes requirements for certification bodies to ensure that they are consistent in auditor competence, audit duration, planning, on-site sampling, and certification.

“Aligning the requirements for all certification bodies across all schemes and the food value chain from primary production through to retail and catering creates a level playing field in the industry and builds trust,” said Amanda McCarthy, Global Director of Food and Beverage Business Assurance at DNV, apart from The standard chosen by the food sector, the approach taken by certification bodies to measure compliance is now consistent.

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