The Switzerland-based firm announced its Systems and Services Certification Pty Ltd business will be able to issue accredited certificates for the FSSC 22000 from 1 January 2011 after it was given a successful assessment by The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).
The antipodean body is a signatory to a number of bilateral, regional and international agreements that provide widespread recognition of its accredited certificates, Outi Helena Maatta Systems & Services Certification vice president told FoodProductionDaily.com.
JAS-ANZ accreditation applies globally, which means that SGS will be able to issue FSSC 22000 certificates accredited by the Australasian standards body to customers worldwide, she added.
The Foundation for Food Safety Certification (FSSC), the owner of the FSSC 22000 scheme, said that from the start of next year associated bodies that meet its standards will be able to issue certificates. Under the scheme requirements laid down in it July 2010 version, such organisations must also have accreditation for ISO/IEC Guide 17021 and ISO 22003. SGS said it was “well prepared for this target date”.
“SGS fully supports the objective of the FSSC Board of Directors to protect the profile of the scheme and so will not issue any accredited certificates until this time,” said company global and technical accreditation manager Peter Marriott. “However, the confirmation from JAS-ANZ that SGS meets the technical requirements of accreditation means that clients who successfully complete an audit during the intervening period can be confident there will be no unnecessary delays in issuing accredited certificates once the launch is complete, and that they will be among the first to receive them”.
Harmonising food standards
The FSSC 22000 system aims to harmonise food safety standards throughout the food manufacturing chain. Already accepted by Canada, United States, Australia, it was the first to win recognition throughout the European Union after its acceptance by European Co-operation for Accreditation in October. It is also supported by industry leaders such as Nestle, Unilever, Kraft and Danone.
The scheme focuses on the audit and certification of food manufacturers’ and processors’ safety systems covering:
- Perishable animal products, excluding slaughtering and pre-slaughtering treatments.
- Perishable vegetable products including fresh fruits and vegetables and preserved fruits and vegetables.
- Products with long shelf life at ambient temperature such as pasta.
- Biochemical products for food manufacturing such as vitamins, additives and bio-cultures.