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FSSC 22000 V 5.1 - What To Look Out For
March 21st 2022

FSSC 22000 V 5.1 - What To Look Out For


Updates to FSSC 22000

FSSC 22000 V 5.1 is the latest version of the ISO 22000 based certification program.  It was released on November 3rd 2020 and is the 6th edition of the scheme after a major revision in 2019, when Version 5 was published to accommodate the long-awaited revision of the International Standard, ISO 22000:2018.

FSSC 22000 Version 5.1 is thus referred to as a new sub-version but it incorporates some important updates and became mandatory for all FSSC 22000 audits as of April 1st 2021.  

Reasons for Version 5.1

The publication of the new version of FSSC 22000 was driven by the need to keep the Scheme up to date and to meet the requirements of today’s industry.

Key Drivers for Change

  • Revised GFSI Benchmarking Requirements in Version 2020.1
  • Feedback on the existing version leading to continuous improvement
  • Incorporation of the Board of Stakeholders (BoS) Interim decisions list
  • Opportunity to Strengthen the Licensing Process and Integrity Program

The fully revised Scheme Documents are available free of charge on the FSSC 22000 website ( and in a number of languages which include Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese.  To make the transition to the new version easier there is a “track change” document available on the FSSC website which clearly identifies the additions and adjustments to the FSSC 22000 requirements and an upgrade paper which sets out the process for upgrading certified organizations to the new requirements . This includes a suggested sequence of scheduling upgrade audits within the certification cycle whilst also accommodating potential COVID delays.  

The key Changes in FSSC 22000 Version 5.1 impact:

  • Additional requirements in Part 2 and Part 3
  • Multisite certification
  • Minimum Audit Duration
  • Food safety Culture
  • An On Boarding Program for CB’s and an enhanced Integrity Program

New FSSC 22000 Additional Requirements (Part 2)- Requirements for Organizations to be Audited

FSSC 22000 V 5.1 includes some tightening up of the supply chain requirements under 2.5.1 Managements of Services and Purchased Materials.  This includes the specification of competency requirements for internal laboratories that are testing products as part of the validation process, the need to control for prohibited substances in animal materials and a defined review process to ensure obligatory specifications are being met.

There is always a need to ensure finished products are labeled appropriately but 2.5.2 Product Labeling requires that when products remain unlabeled, relevant product information must be shared with the “next in line” customer or consumer to ensure safe use of the product.

The addition of 2.5.12 PRP Verification requires that routine site inspections and PRP checks are made to ensure that the production environment and processing equipment are maintained in a suitable condition to ensure food safety.   The frequency of the site inspections shall be based on risk, the size and complexity of the organization and linked to the relevant technical specification.

2.5.13. Product Development requires that a procedure is in place to accommodate the design, development and introduction of new products and changes to product or manufacturing processes to ensure safe and legal products are produced.   

2.5.15 Requirements for organizations with multi-site certifications introduces some refinements such that the practice of multisite certification does not pose a risk to food safety and specifies the need for adequate resources and controls to ensure the effectiveness of the FSMS.

These include procedures for Internal audits, requirements for the qualifications of internal auditors & reviewers and inclusion of the review & calibration processes managed by the Central Function.

New FSSC 22000 Additional Requirements (Part 3) Requirements for the Certification Process

4.3.3 Minimum Audit Duration — Perhaps one of the most impactful changes in FSSC 22000 V 5.1 is the adjustment to the minimum audit duration for all audit types in categories C, D, I & K. While there are exceptions that are still in place for very small organizations, the minimum audit duration will always be 2 days. This could represent a slight increase in audit duration for some certified organizations.

5.3 Multi-Site Requirements — There are some detailed specifications included in this section for organizations taking advantage of the multi-site option in categories A, Animal Farming, E – Catering, F1 Retail/Wholesale and G- Storage and Distribution, which clarifies the conditions under which multi-site certification can be used, the role of the organization’s Central Function and the impact of Nonconformities in any one of the sites.

6. Audit Report defines the minimum content for the information that needs to be included in the audit report.  English remains the official language for the audit report and there are specific requirements in section 8 Portal Data and Documentation, which define the requirements for data management & data quality of uploaded audit material.

Food Safety Culture

Specific requirements around the implementation and audit of Food Safety Culture have not been added to Version 5.1 although it is now a feature of the latest GSFI Benchmarking requirements. 

This is because FSSC 22000 believes that the GFSI requirements for communication, leadership and training, feedback and communication from employees and performance management are already met by the ISO 22000:2018 standard.  There is, however, a guidance document on Food Safety Culture Guidance that is linked to FSSC 22000 version 5.1 available on the FSSC 22000 website.

This guidance document explains:

  • How Food Safety Culture is covered in ISO 22000:2018
  • How Food Safety Culture should be audited during the FSSC 22000 audit.
  • Reporting requirements are covered in Annex 2

It should be noted that more information is available on and team members are available to help answer your questions as to how FSSC 22000 can help meet your food safety management needs at Mérieux NutriSciences.

Cyber Security

Now more than ever, cyber security needs to be considered as part of food safety to ensure internal and external issues do not influence food production. Evaluating cyber security as part of the food defense plan is an essential piece of food safety.  In addition to evaluations, measures should be documented on what to do if electronic systems are compromised.

Need help understanding these changes? Contact our experts today.

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