A global gas technology company has been awarded the food industry's highest international quality standard for food safety management.
German-based WITT Gas Technology's award of the quality standard ISO 22000:2005 means the company can supply equipment to a worldwide food packaging industry, while meeting international standards.
ISO 22000:2005 is an international standard and defines the requirements of a food safety management system covering all organisations in the food chain from "farm to fork", including catering and packaging companies.
The increase in consumer demand for safe food has led to the development of numerous food safety standards. The growing number of national standards for food safety management has led to confusion and consequently, there is a need for international harmonization and ISO aims to meet this need with ISO 22000:2005.
The standard, which came into force in September 2005, makes it easier for international companies and organisations to implement hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) plans for food hygiene in a way that is consistent from country to country or the food product concerned.
It brings together a number of international food standards including HACCP, Euro-retailer produce working group good agricultural practices (EUREPGAP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP). It is also based on the ISO 9000 standard, which set out the fundamental measurements of food manufacturing plant quality management.
Carl Long, general manager at Witt Gas Techniques, said: "ISO 22000 specifies the requirements for a food safety management system in the food chain where a company or organisation needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to provide consistently safe end products that meet both the requirements agreed with the customer and those of applicable food safety regulations."
In the food industry, gas mixing, analysing and testing equipment is used with food safe gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen to help food preservation and quality in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). The certification means Witt's mixing, metering and analysing equipment meets the standard's requirements for food safety management in the packaging industry.
Long said: "We have had to undertake extensive risk analysis and monitor critical hygiene requirements set out in the original HACCP standards to be awarded this new standard. All the well-known supermarkets demand the highest levels of quality from their suppliers, including the packaging industry, who in turn will require the same high standards from their equipment suppliers."
Witt operates in more than 50 countries worldwide.