ISO, the International Standards Organization, develops standards for virtually every industry in the world. Though industries are not bound to adhere to those standards, many governments have adopted ISO standards as regulations. Such is the case with ISO 22000 which deals with food safety.
Servsafe certification, the food safety certification used to signify adherence to ISO 22000, is used by many caterers, restaurants, and other food service organizations. ISO 22000 training was also incorporated into Senate Bill 303, the California Food Handler Law which requires Food Handler Cards, obtained through food safety certification, for all employees who prepare, store, or serve food. HACCP certification training is also used to ensure that food handlers are using safe and effective practices.
Why is ISO 22000 training and Iso 22000 certification important? Improperly prepared, handled, and stored food can be very dangerous to those who consume it. Bacteria can develop that could cause a variety of serious illnesses. ISO 22000 training is designed to teach food handlers how to reduce the risk of transmitting those bacteria to consumers of food.
Listeriosis is one type of bacterial infection that can be transmitted through food and occurs primarily in pregnant women, newborn infants, elderly patients, and those who are immunocompromised. Other bacterial infections that can occur include E. coli and salmonella which are both well known for causing food poisoning.
ISO 22000 training usually focuses on preventing bacterial growth at the source. This means storing the food at the appropriate temperature and with appropriate packaging, preparing it on sanitized tables with clean hands and utensils, and serving it promptly. All of these components of ISO 22000 training are designed to prevent bacteria from growing rather than removing it once it has already manifested.
Though most of us are unaware of ISO 22000, we have undoubtedly experienced its effects. Thanks to these types of standards, we can grocery shop and eat in restaurants with the secure knowledge that our food has been handled and stored in a way that will reduce bacterial growth.