ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) has published guidelines for the food and drink industry for implementing quality management systems based on ISO 9001.
ISO 15161, Guidelines on the application of ISO 9001 for the food and drink industry, is aimed at Applicants involved in all aspects of this industry sector, including sourcing, processing and packaging food and drink products. This standard is also applicable to non-medicinal products (where a medical claim is not being made) such as food supplements and nutraceuticals.
ISO 15161, which was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, is described by the experts of ISO/TC 34 as:
“ISO 9001 focuses on customers’ needs and expectations,”
“One of the most important customer expectations (and often one which is implicit rather than stated directly) is to have safe food products.
“ISO 15161 allows an organisation to integrate its quality management system with the implementation of food safety systems such as HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point).”
Although other food safety standards can be accepted, the application of HACCP within an ISO 9001 quality management system can result in a food safety system that is more effective than the application of either ISO 9001 or HACCP alone, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and improved effectiveness.