What are SQF Standards?
Safe Quality Food (SQF) is a food safety management certification scheme based on HACCP that demonstrates compliance with all the processes and requirements as defined in the SQF code.
What is the Importance of SQF in the Food Handling Industry?
Ensuring food safety over international supply chains can be incredibly challenging, and organizations in the food industry depend on suppliers to provide them with food products and ingredients that are manufactured, stored, or shipped safely.
Certification programs are widely regarded to be the most effective to ensure that organizations in the food industry have confidence in their suppliers. One of the most accepted food certification programs is SQF, especially since it is a certification that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI.)
What is the Relationship to GFSI?
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a business-driven global food network that consists of food retailers and manufacturers around the world. The GFSI listed a set of requirements that are crucial to a food safety management system.
Consequently, the GFSI recognizes any food safety stand that includes their set of requirements, including SQF. The result is that if a business is certified to SQF, the GFSI will recognize the certification.
If one of your customers request that you become GFSI certified, an SQF certification will, therefore, be sufficient. Your business can also receive GFSI recognition if you have an FSSC 22000, BRC Issue 7, or International Food Standard Version 6 certification.
What are the Different Levels of SQF?
There are three levels of SQF Certification. The appropriate level for your business depends on the type of food business you have.
SQF Food Safety Fundamentals
This level was formerly known as SQF Level 1 and applies to low-risk products. This level consists of fundamental food safety controls and is not recognized by GFSI.
SQF Food Safety Code
This level is a certified HACCP food safety plan and was formerly known as an SQF Level 2 Certification. Most businesses opt for this level because of its recognition by the GFSI. The SQF Food Safety Code has versions available for:
- Primary food producers
- Food retailers
- Food packaging
- Storage and distribution
SQF Quality Code
SQF Quality Code is the highest SQF level and involves the extensive implementation of safety management systems that include the Food Safety Code.
How Do I Get SQF Certified?
- Download the Code and Guidance documents from www.SQFI.com, and learn what is required for SQF certification.
- Select the appropriate SQF level for your business.
- Register at SQFI and designate your SQF Practitioner.
- Apply the required process and food safety fundamentals and train your in-house audit team.
- Keep records, perform internal audits, review performance, and make improvements where necessary.
- Select a certification body.
- Schedule and undergo your inspections.
Work with an SQF Certified Company
Brimich Warehousing & Logistics’ food grade facilities are HACCP compliant, and SQF certified. Contact us today to discuss your needs.