German-based Witt Gas Techniques has been awarded the international food industry\\$quot;s highest quality standard ISO 22000:2005 certification for food safety management.

This new standard, which came into force in September 2005, makes it easier for international companies and organisations to implement the Codex HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system for food hygiene in a way, that does not vary from country to country or the food product concerned.

It brings together a number of international food standards including HACCP, EUREPGAP and GMP. It is also based on the ISO 9000 standard, which set out the fundamental measurements of food manufacturing plant quality management.

General manager, Carl Long, said: \\$quot;ISO 22000 specifies the requirements for a food safety management system in the food chain where a company or organisation needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to provide consistently safe end products that meet both the requirements agreed with the customer and those of applicable food safety regulations.

\\$quot;In the food industry our gas mixing, analysing and testing equipment is used with food safe gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen to help food preservation and quality in Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). This certification means our equipment meets the standard\\$quot;s requirements for food safety management.

\\$quot;We have had to undertake extensive risk analysis and monitor critical hygiene requirements set out in the original HACCP standards to be awarded this new standard. All the well-known supermarkets demand the highest levels of quality from their suppliers, including the packaging industry, who in turn will require the same high standards from their equipment suppliers.\\$quot;