ISO 22000 - (Section 5 - Management Responsibility)

5.6. Communication

5.6.1 External communication

To ensure that sufficient information on issues concerning food safety is available throughout the food chain, the organization shall establish, implement and maintain effective arrangements for communicating with

  1. suppliers and contractors,
  2. customers or consumers, in particular in relation to product information (including instructions regarding intended use, specific storage requirements and, as appropriate, shelf life), enquiries, contracts or orderhandling including amendments, and customer feedback including customer complaints,
  3. statutory and regulatory authorities, and
  4. other organizations that have an impact on, or will be affected by, the effectiveness or updating of the food safety management system.

Such communication shall provide information on food safety aspects of the organization's products that may be relevant to other organizations in the food chain. This applies especially to known food safety hazards that need to be controlled by other organizations in the food chain. Records of communications shall be maintained.


Food safety requirements from statutory and regulatory authorities and customers shall be available.


Designated personnel shall have defined responsibility and authority to communicate externally any information concerning food safety. Information obtained through external communication shall be included as input to system updating (see 8.5.2) and management review (see 5.8.2).


5.6.2 Internal communication

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain effective arrangements for communicating with personnel on issues having an impact on food safety.

In order to maintain the effectiveness of the food safety management system, the organization shall ensure that the food safety team is informed in a timely manner of changes, including but not limited to the following:

  1. products or new products;
  2. raw materials, ingredients and services;
  3. production systems and equipment;
  4. production premises, location of equipment, surrounding environment;
  5. cleaning and sanitation programmes;
  6. packaging, storage and distribution systems;
  7. personnel qualification levels and/or allocation of responsibilities and authorizations;
  8. statutory and regulatory requirements;
  9. knowledge regarding food safety hazards and control measures;
  10. customer, sector and other requirements that the organization observes;
  11. relevant enquiries from external interested parties;
  12. complaints indicating food safety hazards associated with the product;
  13. other conditions that have an impact on food safety.

The food safety team shall ensure that this information is included in the updating of the food safety management system (see 8.5.2). Top management shall ensure that relevant information is included as input to the management review (see 5.8.2).