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Safe Food from the Farm with ISO/TS 22002-3

Prerequisite programs on food safety

Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 13:03

(ISO: Geneva) -- Safer food farming is the principal benefit targeted by a new ISO technical specification, latest in the ISO 22000 series of standards for food safety management systems.

Farms are the first link in many supply chains that bring food to the kitchen table and the new ISO technical specification, ISO/TS 22002-3:2011, has been developed to ensure that farmers implement best practice in maintaining a hygienic environment and play their part in controlling food safety hazards in food chains.

ISO/TS 22002-3 is one of a series of support documents in the ISO 22000 series providing requirements for food-safety prerequisite programs (PRPs). Prerequisite programs address the basic conditions and activities that are necessary for ensuring hygiene throughout the food chain during production, handling, and provision of food safe for human consumption. ISO/TS 22002-3 specifies the requirements and guidelines for design, implementation, and documentation of PRPs for farming.

“The chain from farm to fork may be a long one, even global in scale, involving many different participants,” says Dominique Berget, leader of the ISO team that developed the new document. “Therefore, it’s important to ensure food safety right from the very first link, which is often the farm. ISO/TS 22002-3 provides state-of-art requirements and guidance for getting this right.”

The specification will be useful for all organizations, including individual farms or groups of farms, regardless of size or complexity, which are involved in the farming step of the food chain and wish to implement PRPs in accordance with ISO 22000:2005, the standard that gives the basic requirements for food safety management.

It is applicable to the farming of crops (e.g., cereals, fruits, vegetables), living farm animals (e.g., cattle, poultry, pigs, fish) and the handling of their products (e.g., milk, eggs).

All operations related to farming are included in the scope (e.g., sorting, cleaning, packing of unprocessed products, on-farm feed manufacturing, transport within the farm).

The document includes specific examples of PRPs, although these are for guidance only because farming operations are diverse in nature according to size, type of products, production methods, geographical and biological environments, and related statutory and regulatory requirements. Therefore, the need, intensity, and nature of PRPs will differ between organizations.

ISO/TS 22002-3:2011—“Prerequisite programs on food safety—Part 3—Farming,” was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34—Food products, subcommittee SC 17—Management systems for food safety, working group WG 2—Farming. It is available from ISO national member institutes. It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store.


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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a nongovernmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society. View the ISO Standards list.