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IAS Develops Food Safety Management System Accreditation Program

IAS has developed an accreditation program for organizations that audit and certify food safety management systems. The objective of IAS's Food Safety Management System (FSMS) Accreditation Program is to ensure regulators and ultimately consumers receive high-quality products and services supported through our established conformity assessment structure.

Food safety is critical to all consumers and businesses. With recent cases of food-borne illnesses such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy infected beef, listeria levels in dairy products, salmonella contamination of poultry and eggs, supply chain managers have to manage risk and demonstrate good corporate responsibility practices. Meeting legal and accepted requirements imposed by regulators at global, national and local levels has resulted in market-driven forces for third-party assessed and certified food safety management systems based on recognized international standard(s).

As a result of high emphasis on food safety, IAS has decided to provide accreditation in this area to interested applicant certification body organizations that wish to seek accreditation and market entry in providing food safety management system (FSMS) certification.

IAS has a long and competent history of accrediting laboratories involved in food testing and product certification bodies. The IAS FSMS program is supported by a strong assessor support mechanism with an active task group consisting of both U.S. and global experts.

The FSMS Accreditation Criteria will be posted for "60-day public comment" through the IAS web portal in early 2013. We welcome your input during this ‘comment’ stage. Any comments received are forwarded for discussion at the March 2013 IAS Accreditation Committee meeting, after which the accreditation criteria, application, scope of accreditation categories and relevant checklists will be available online through the IAS website. First-time users will be required to register for FSMS accreditation program. Please contact Ron Coiner, rcoiner@iasonline.org or Mohan Sabaratnam, msabaratnam@iasonline.org for more details on the program.

IAS FSMS Accreditation Requirements
The accreditation of FSMS Certification bodies requires applicant organizations to comply with the following requirements:
• ISO/IEC 17021:2011, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems
• ISO/TS 22003:2007, Food Safety Management Systems- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems
• Witness assessments of Certification Bodies in accordance with: ISO 22000:2005 Food safety management systems - Requirements for any organization in the food chain

Note: Upon request, additional accreditation extensions can also be provided under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) scheme. Accreditation requirements for certification bodies to provide GFSI Food Safety system certification (FSSC 22000) will also be detailed under the IAS website: www.iasonline.org.

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