Food safety is a priority for every food manufacturer. The Safe Quality Food Initiative (SQF) is a voluntary, self-assessment system that helps food manufacturers achieve compliance with food safety regulations. The SQF System includes a series of documents and requirements that are published by the US FDA and Canada’s CFIA. In order to demonstrate SQF compliance, companies must follow these requirements during product development, implementation and daily operations.
Every company is required to follow standards in order to avoid a situation like the one Chipotle experienced. There are many different standards that guarantee specific processes and procedures, such as food safety, production records, product specifications, and development. Every time a product leaves your facility, you will have to meet certain requirements or else your company may be at risk for a lawsuit. Management commitment is also an important factor in following these standards as it can make employees more likely to adhere to the rules so that they don’t get fired. The aim of this system is to ensure there is no risk of food poisoning from a contaminated product, that the product on sale complies with all applicable regulations, and to provide assurance that products continue to be safe while they are being stored.
The system’s documentation requirements are also very detailed and require traceability of every step in the manufacture of a food item, from batch records to finished product withdrawal.
Benefits of SQF implementation:
The SQF food safety management system is an international standard for the process of planning, implementing and maintaining a quality control system. SQF is a regulatory tool that can be used to assure compliance with all applicable food safety standards, including those from Codex Alimentarius. SQF helps companies to eliminate inefficiencies and make improvements not just in the processes, but in how they conduct their business operations.
Why we need SQF?
The SQF certification makes sure that food safety is enforced through a system that is available to all companies worldwide. It was developed by the Safe Quality Food Institute and recognized globally by the Global Food Safety Initiative, which means that it can be used in any country to ensure product quality. The Certification also reduces process management errors by ensuring correct specifications are followed during production. Finally, the SQF certification helps reduce cost through reduced waste and better decision-making at every stage of the process, from materials planning to final product shipment.