Contamination and mislabeling risks at the packaging manufacturing stage are often overlooked because the emphasis on food safety usually lies in the preparation of the food itself. Food safety management systems, however, can only do so much to protect end users.

    The only way to shore up defenses against an outbreak and mitigate any failures in packaging labeling is to review and prepare against the factors at play in the packaging process, and ensure that manufacturing practices are adhering to all safety and quality standards.

    By risk-assessing the packaging supplier in relation to its products, processes and customer base, a manufacturer can ascertain the level of food safety risks associated with a particular supply chain and packaging material. Risk assessments allow for an allocation of different levels of due diligence requirements that suppliers must adhere to and provide any early red flags in the food packaging process that might pose a safety risk.

    ISO 22000 sets out specific food safety requirements for organizations in the food chain. One such requirement is that organizations establish, implement and maintain prerequisite programmes (PRP) to assist in controlling food safety hazards (ISO 22000:2005, 7.2).

    Intended use of the food packaging needs to be fully understood so that any food safety hazard can be identified and addressed through appropriate food packaging design, which is covered in Food packaging information and customer communication under requirement of  ISO 22002-4 _ 2013. (Prerequisite programmes on food safety — Part 4: Food packaging manufacturing) in combination with clauses/subclauses in ISO 22000

    This Technical Specification specifies requirements for establishing, implementing and maintaining prerequisite programmes (PRPs) to assist in controlling food safety hazards in the manufacture of food packaging.

    This Technical Specification is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size or complexities that manufacture food packaging and/or intermediate products. This Technical Specification is not designed or intended for use in other parts or activities of the food supply chain.