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FSSC 22000 Version 6 has introduced significant changes to environmental monitoring, encompassing a broader scope, a comprehensive approach, a focus on compliance, and regular reviews.

Welcome to the latest installment in our series of 10 blogs exploring the new FSSC 22000 Version 6. If you’re a food safety professional, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re delving into a crucial aspect of the updated FSSC 22000 – Environmental Monitoring.


1. Expanded Scope:

One of the standout changes in FSSC 22000 Version 6 is the expansion of scope. The requirement for environmental monitoring now extends to “Pre-process handling of plant products.” This encompasses activities that don’t alter the original whole form of the product. It’s a significant addition, acknowledging the importance of maintaining food safety even before transformation processes kick in.


2. Comprehensive Monitoring:

In this updated version, your environmental monitoring program must encompass pathogens, spoilage, and indicators. This shift emphasizes the importance of a risk-based approach. If any of these factors are identified as relevant within your operations, they must be included in your monitoring program. This holistic approach ensures a higher level of food safety across the board.


3. Compliance is Key:

Version 6 leaves no room for ambiguity when it comes to compliance. Your environmental monitoring program must adhere not only to internal standards but also to legal and customer requirements. This clarity ensures that your food safety practices align with the broader regulatory landscape and customer expectations.


4. Regular Reviews:

Consistent review is at the heart of effective food safety. In this version, it’s mandatory to review your environmental monitoring program at least annually. However, it’s also crucial to trigger a review when specific events occur:

  • Changes in products, processes, or legislation.
  • Positive test results over extended periods.
  • Out-of-specification microbiological results, both for intermediate and finished products, linked to environmental monitoring.
  • Detection of pathogens.
  • Alerts, recalls, or withdrawals related to your products.



As a food safety professional, staying ahead of the curve is essential. FSSC 22000 Version 6 has introduced significant changes to environmental monitoring, encompassing a broader scope, a comprehensive approach, a focus on compliance, and regular reviews. These changes reflect the dynamic nature of food safety and the need for adaptability in the industry.


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  1. Radionuclides: Radioactive isotopes of elements (radionuclides) are naturally present in the environment, and that includes our bodies and our food and water. We are exposed to radiation (also known as background radiation) from these radionuclides on a daily basis. Radiation comes from space (i.e., cosmic rays) as well as from naturally-occurring radioactive materials (radionuclides) found in the soil, water and air. Radioactivity can be detected in food and water and the concentration of naturally-occurring radionuclides varies depending on several factors such as local geology, climate and agricultural practices.

  1. Radionuclides Rule: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates radionuclides in drinking water to protect public health. Radionuclides in water at amounts greater than the drinking water standards may cause health problems. On December 7, 2000, EPA published the Radionuclides Final Rule. The new rule revised the radionuclides regulation, which had been in effect since 1977. The revisions set new monitoring requirements for community water systems (CWS). This ensured customers receive water meeting maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for radionuclides in drinking water.
  2. The United States Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.–Hazard-Analysis-and-Risk-Based-Preventive-Controls-for-Human-Food—Potential-Hazards-Associated-with-the-Manufacturing–Processing–Packing–and-Holding-of-Human-Food-%28Chapter-3%29-Download.pdf

This article was written by:

Nuno F. Soares

Contributing Editor: Jocelyn C. Lee, Food Safety Consultant

Disclaimer: The information contained on this article is based on research done in the last months and the authors personal experience and opinion. It is not intended to represent the view of any organization they work for or collaborate with. The authors will not be held liable for the use or misuse of the information provided in the article.

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