The importance of food safety for public health and its impact on international trade has ensured that food safety has for several decades been the focus of attention for globally active organisations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), national governments, NGOs, interest groups and the food industry. 

As a result, the legal food safety framework has been further tightened, both in Belgium and at European and world level. This ensured, among other things, that every organisation in the food sector in the European Union since 2004 implemented the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety system criteria as an operational basis for food safety and hygiene.

ISO 22000 

The ISO 22000 food safety management system standard was introduced in 2005 with the aim of providing an internationally recognised and applied universal standard framework. The current version came into force in 2018 and is a further development based on new insights into food safety and hygiene and the application of an integrated, operational approach to risks based on the generic High Level Structure (HLS) of management system standards. 


ISO 22000 is a replacement standard of the HACCP certification standard that will be phased out and will permanently disappear in 2021. ISO 22000 combines the requirements of the HACCP certification standard along with the High Level Structure core elements. This includes: the context of the organisation, leadership, planning, support, execution, evaluation of business performance and continuous improvement. In addition, the new version applies two risk levels: one at organisational level and one at operational level.


The ISO 22000 standard applies to all organisations, directly or indirectly involved in food safety, across all links in the food chain. These include food producers, feed producers, retailers and the food packaging industry. The Food Safety Management System (FSMS) according to ISO 22000 can be applied to any organisation within the food chain, both in Belgium and internationally, regardless of its size, its number of employees or the nature of the (primary) business activities 


What does this certification process look like? The ISO 22000 certification process follows the same principle as all other generic management system standards, based on an implementation methodology in a fixed cycle of 3 years. After a certification audit that consists of a preliminary and review examination, we will examine the certified organisation (bi-) annually in the interim. Thus, we can determine whether the standard requirements are still being met. At the end of the entire cycle, the certified organisation can start a new cycle of 3 years, again starting with a certification audit. 

Would you like to receive more detailed information about the practice of this certification? Take a look at our brochure The Certification process which you can download here on our website. 


Organizations can use the ISO 22000 standard as a stand-alone management system, as well as in combination with other management system standards, such as ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environmental) or ISO 45001 (healthy & safe working) and other specific standards in the field of food safety and hygiene.