Food Safety Standards

– The difference between HACCP, ISO 22000, BRC and SQF

Food Safety Standards Assurance

HACCP is the risk assessment tool applied for food safety assurance. It is internationally recognised and used in every compliance standard. It is not a standard in itself although your business can be certified as having a “HACCP system”

ISO 22000, BRC and SQF are internationally accepted food safety standards by GFSI that include the HACCP risk assessment tool with an in depth focus on Quality Management and Good Manufacturing Practices

Is there a difference between ISO 22000, BRC and SQF?

It is a matter of personal opinion. All three are accepted by GFSI because they all pass the benchmarked food safety criteria. To choose an international standard, it is best to determine what YOUR customer requirements are.
For instance, if you supply product to Coles Supermarkets, choose either BRC or SQF.

Both BRC and SQF have a strong focus on quality management and are extensive on Good Manufacturing Practices and other support programs.

Main differences between BRC and SQF food safety standards are:

  • Standard literature Emphasis of each GFSI food safety criteria Types of customers that demand their suppliers to be certified towards them
  • The BRC standard can be purchased from and the SQF standard can be freely downloaded from

Want more information on these food safety standards?

For more information on HACCP click HERE
For more information on ISO 22000 click HERE
For more information on BRC food safety click HERE
For more information on SQF food safety click HERE

How do I choose a food safety standard?

Choice is an owner / top management decision. Management will need to review each standard and decide which one best suits their company’s culture, existing quality assurance and /or food safety system and customer requirements. Whichever standard you decide upon, bear in mind management will be required to commit resources, time, staff and investment. A Food Safety Management System is a path to beneficial changes that will be continual and will require ongoing maintenance and compliance.

Elements to consider in your choice are:

– What are your customer requirements?

– Are you already ISO certified?

Below are suggestions of which international food safety standard is best suited for which type of business you have.

  • A HACCP system is the basic requirement for all businesses
  • ISO 22000 may be best suited for businesses that are currently certified against ISO 9001. ISO 22000 is the complementary food safety element of the ISO family
  • BRC Global may be best suited for food manufacturers.
  • SQF food safety may be best suited for food manufacturing, storage, distribution and agent/broker management certification. SQF also has detailed Canning Operations of food product


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Food Safety Resources