There are 19,000 international standards that exist in the world today, with about 1,000 of these standards dedicated exclusively to the food manufacturing, service, and delivery industry. This includes but is not at all limited to agricultural machinery and the proper use of that machinery, logistics and transportation issues surrounding food, manufacturing of said food, labeling and packaging of food, and storage too. More specifically, a food safety certification program has been developed to better regulate manufacturers of food, particularly those who manage animal products, produce that is perishable, products with long shelf lives, and those with additives and vitamins in them too.
How a food safety certification brings a manufacturer or handler of food to higher and more direct adherence to these standards varies depending on which food safety certification is completed, though normally all have their merits. For instance, ISO 14001 certification gives businesses more of a competitive advantage inside and outside of food over those who choose not to adopt such policies. Other certifications, like Brc certification, CMMI certification, Haccp certification and ISO 20000 certification, have their finer points with relation to making, transporting, preparing, and serving food too.
The average food safety certification program has been in existence for quite some time, primarily due to the rampant illness that people were experiencing from handling food that was not made, stored, or prepared properly. In 1998, in fact, the British Retail Consortium developed the BRC standard to evaluate the brands that retailers were putting on their shelves to determine whether these foods were safe to consume for the general British public. That standard then spread throughout the world, since the policies that apply in England are relatively the same as those employed elsewhere, so the policies and certifications essentially were useable outside the country.
More recently, the California Food Handler Card Law, or Senate Bill 303, was enacted to require all handlers of food to have cards in their possession at all times while on the job. This bill is not necessarily a food safety certification, but it does prove the need for such standards to protect the general health and safety of the public. It is more of a law and less of a suggestion, so penalties do exist for professionals who do not comply. However, this represents a side note to the typical food safety certification that exists for food makers, handlers, preparers, and servers today.