SQF (Safe Quality Food)

What is SQF?

SQF stands for Safe Quality Food, and it refers to a certification program that ensures food safety and quality within various industries, primarily the food and beverage industry. The SQF certification is recognized globally and is administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

The SQF certification program provides a comprehensive approach to food safety management systems, which includes guidelines for the production, processing, packaging, and distribution of food products. The primary goal of SQF certification is to minimize food safety risks and ensure that products meet regulatory requirements and consumer expectations.

There are different levels of SQF certification:

  • Level 1: SQF Food Safety Fundamentals - This level is focused on basic food safety and hygiene practices. It's often used as a stepping stone for companies new to SQF certification.
  • Level 2: SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing - This level involves implementing a comprehensive food safety management system, including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles.
  • Level 3: SQF Food Safety Code for Distribution - This level focuses on additional aspects of food safety related to distribution and warehousing.
  • Level 4: SQF Food Safety Code for Primary Production - This level addresses food safety considerations in primary production, such as agriculture and farming.
  • Level 5: SQF Quality Code - This level focuses on product quality and food safety, emphasizing continuous improvement and risk reduction.

To achieve SQF certification, companies must undergo an assessment conducted by an accredited SQF auditor. This evaluation appraises the company's adherence to the applicable SQF Code level and how well they have integrated food safety and quality management systems. If the company satisfies the established criteria, they become recipients of the SQF certification.

It's crucial to highlight that upholding SQF certification mandates continual adherence, frequent audits, and persistent endeavors to enhance processes, all of which ensure a consistent upholding of food safety and quality standards.

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