Safe Quality Food (SQF): A Global Standard
Based upon the food safety principles and methods of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), the SQF program is a GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) benchmarked certification standard. Widely applicable to nearly every stage of the food supply chain, SQF certification addresses not only farming and packhouses, but everything from food manufacturing to animal feed and pet food production.
SQF Edition 9: What’s New?
As a GFSI-benchmarked standard, it’s key for SQF to continually update in order to meet new GFSI requirements. For SQF Edition 9, this includes a food safety culture section and the implementation of feedback from stakeholders.
The changes between Editions 8 and 9 have allowed SQF to be streamlined, with an over 30% reduction in the number of sections and a 15% overall reduction; this may help audits to run more smoothly. Other changes include:
- 5 points will be deducted for major nonconformities (formerly 10 points)
- The standard now allows remote audit activities and includes guidance for them
- Desk audits are no longer required prior to the initial site certification audit
- Specific code updates and subdivisions:
- The primary production code for farms is now separated into livestock, plant production, and aquaculture
- Individual standards for processing animal products, animal feed, and pet food
For a wider, more comprehensive overview of SQF Edition 9, we invite you to watch the recording of a webinar PJRFSI presented with SQFI’s LeeAnn Chuboff on the topic: Click Here.
Why is GFSI benchmarking so important?
Since 2000, GFSI recognition has been considered the gold standard for food safety certification. Developed in response to several high-profile recalls and negative publicity in the food industry, GFSI harmonizes food safety standards under one umbrella to reduce risk to both producer and consumer while also managing costs, developing competencies and capacity, and creating an international platform for collaboration, exchanging knowledge, and networking.
What are the advantages of SQF Certification?
- Assurance for both you and your customers that food is produced, prepped, and handled according to the most rigorous standards.
- Minimize risks and ensure your business’s reputation is protected.
- Strengthen your brand; open doors to doing business with top retailers who expect stringent food safety and quality programs.
- Demonstrate your commitment to continual improvement of your programs.