ISO 22000: 2018 - Context (Part 1)

ISO 22000: 2018 CONTEXT (Part 1)

With this entry we begin an analysis of the standard ISO 22000:2018, and we will be identifying what I have already called “the context” of this standard in other previous articles, in order to analyse later the text of each of the specific requirements that make it up.

If you are establishing, or intend to establish, a food safety management system in an organization in compliance with this standard, or more importantly, you dedicate or want to dedicate yourself professionally to the field of food safety management by supporting other organizations to apply this ISO 22000 standard, it is very important that you properly know and understand each of the requirements of this standard, either to comply with each of them correctly, or that you can offer a valuable consulting service or technical support to organizations that work in this agri-food sector. Otherwise, you should rely on someone who can provide that support.

However, I have repeatedly mentioned in this blog that if someone wants to correctly apply a standard, it is important to know not only the requirements of that standard, but also its complementary elements, which are what make up its context.

In relation to people who work daily with the ISO 22000 standard, in a similar way to the ISO 9001 standard, very few people take care for knowing and understanding the context of said standard. That is, they know the text of the standard's requirements, but not the context of applying those requirements, which sometimes leads to very costly mistakes in developing a food safety management system.

We will begin, then, the analysis of that context of the ISO 22000 standard, based on its prologue, which describes the organization that has issued this international standard, indicating which part of its structure, this is the technical committee and its subcommittee responsible for preparing this standard, as well as some basic elements for its structure and drafting.

It tells us that ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

It explains that the procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, Subcommittee SC 17, Management systems for food safety.

With all this information, you can find out who develops this standard, under what criteria, what is the current version, among several other elements that you can access in greater depth.

Regarding the Prologue of the Spanish version, it indicates that this International Standard has been translated by the Spanish Translation Task Force (STTF) of the Technical Committee ISO / TC 34, SC 17, Food safety management systems, in which they participate representatives of national standardization bodies and representatives of the business sector from the following countries:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, the United States of America, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

Likewise, representatives of COPANT (Pan American Commission on Technical Standards) and INLAC (Latin American Institute of Quality) participate in the aforementioned Working Group.

This translation work, if another language is used in your country, is not transcendent, but for the countries where Spanish language is spoken, it has been a very important work, because, originally, the standards issued by the ISO are in three languages: French, English and Russian. For publications in other languages, the necessary translations must be made. In the case of these countries where the Spanish language is spoken, it has help to use a uniform Spanish terms, avoiding confusion even in the same language.

As part of the supplementary information to this ISO 22000 standard, the following annexes are included to provide more information to the users of this document:

- Annex A: cross references between the CODEX HACCP principles and this document;

- Annex B: cross references between ISO 22000: 2018 and ISO 22000: 2005.

In the following entry, we will analyse the Introduction element of this standard.


Ernesto Palomares Hilton