LRQA and major food brands develop the new food safety standard PAS 220

For the past 6 months, Cor Groenveld, LRQA Global Food Safety Manager and Sector Specialist of Lloyd's Regsiter Quality Assurance (LRQA), has worked along side representatives of Kraft, Danone, Nestlé, Unilever, McDonald's and General Mills in a collective steering group aimed to develop the new food safety Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 220. The PAS covers prerequisites for food manufacturers' food safety programs and is intended to assist in controlling food-safety hazards.

Development of the PAS was sponsored by the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the European Union (CIAA) and the objectives in developing the specification included:

  • identifying harmonization among the prerequisite programs for food manufacturing

  • realizing further acceptance of ISO 22000, the international standard for food safety management systems

  • fulfilling additional expectations and requirements of food manufacturing stakeholders, including food retailers and food-service providers.

PAS 220 is intended to be used in conjunction with ISO 22000 and is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size or complexity, which are involved in manufacturing processes within the food supply chain and supports them to implement effective prerequisite programs. The PAS details requirements for prerequisite programs in relation to ISO 22000 and covers critical components of the food manufacturing process, including:

  • consideration of construction and layout of buildings

  • supplies of water, energy and air

  • measures for the prevention of cross contamination

  • food defense, biovigilance and bioterrorism

  • product-recall procedures.

"Development of the PAS is considered to be a major step towards achieving full acceptance of ISO 22000 throughout the food supply chain," commented Groenveld. "From LRQA's perspective, consideration for providing harmonization in implementing food safety management systems that would enable more effective, robust, and independent audits and third-party certification was essential in its development," he added.