Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification

The SQF food safety certification program is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized standard applicable to supply chain sectors from production through manufacturing, packaging, storage, distribution – to retail and foodservice food purchase. The program is maintained and owned by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), a trade association of food retailers.

Supply chain operations are certified against a set of food safety management system requirements which are published in the SQF Code. The SQF Food Safety Codes provide sites with a HACCP-based approach to prevent food safety issues. The SQF Code Edition 9 has been released for audits beginning on May 24, 2021.

FoodChain ID is here to help your organization transition to SQF Edition 9 with a white paper on the changes.

Why FoodChain ID for SQF Certification?

  • TrakCert™ global customer portal for audits and certification
  • Broad pool of highly trained auditors
  • Customer single point-of-contact saves you time
  • Highly responsive customer and technical team
  • Training and consulting experience

FoodChain ID is here to help you through every step of your journey to SQF certification. At all stages of food safety certification – from your first conversation on food safety standards to your post-audit plan for continuous improvement – you deserve a trusted certification partner to handle each step. At FoodChain ID, we know that food safety certification is more than the yearly audit.

Start by contacting FoodChain ID Certification for a SQF application. Complete the application in full and return to FoodChain ID Certification staff. FoodChain ID Certification will confirm the scope of audit, which includes relevant food sector categories (FSCs) for your company’s products or processes, applicable standard and audit duration, and assign a SQF registered auditor qualified to audit in your sector category. The scope of audit and certification fees will be detailed in the Certification Proposal and Agreement for your approval.

We recommend contacting us at least 3 months in advance of your desired audit time frame.

FoodChain ID Certification is accredited to certify sites to the SQF Code through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). We have extensive experience in third-party certification for the food and beverage industry, which is matched by our commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.

Is your company considering SQF certification? If so, FoodChain ID Certification’s team of certification experts can help explain the process and get you started.

Many major North American retailers require GFSI-recognized certification from their suppliers. SQF certification meets this requirement and provides assurance that a site’s food safety plan and management system are implemented in accordance with Codex Alimentarius HACCP principles and food regulations such as those set forth in European Food Law and the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). SQF certification shows buyers that the company is committed to the production, distribution, and sale of safe, quality food for consumers.

SQF Certification offers a comprehensive solution that helps you verify and demonstrate that food safety and quality controls have been effectively implemented, validated, and monitored. The results of a strong SQF Program are safe products, brand confidence, and reassured customers.

 

Getting Started

Download the applicable SQF Food Safety Code and review the certification process and standard requirements.

Conduct a gap analysis against Code requirements using the applicable SQF self-assessment checklist or contact FoodChain ID Certification to schedule a pre-assessment audit (optional).

Pre-assessment audits do not result in certification but are a way for the site to determine their level of preparedness by a qualified auditor. (Note that the same auditor cannot conduct both the pre-assessment audit and certification audit.)

Register the site at SQFI Assessment Database and select FoodChain ID Certification as your certification body.

Prior to the facility audit, FoodChain ID Certification will provide a Visit Plan to the site, which describes audit format and scope, section requirements and an approximate timeline to ensure processes and relevant staff are available for assessment

certification steps

The cost of SQF certification depends on many factors surrounding your facility, including the size of the facility and the scope that the certification needs to cover. To take the first steps in becoming SQF certified, please contact our office so we can assess the requirements of your business.

During the closing meeting of the facility audit, the auditor reviews any identified non-conformities with site personnel and provides a non-conformity report. Within 10 days of the audit, FoodChain ID Certification reviews the auditor’s initial report and makes it available to the site in ReposiTrak (SQF Assessment Database). The site is responsible for correcting audit non-conformities within 30 days of the audit and uploading correction action evidence to the database. Site corrective actions are reviewed, verified and approved by the auditor and FoodChain ID Certification, upon which an independent certification decision is made within 45 days of the audit. Where certification is granted, a final audit report (including approved corrective actions) and certificate are provided to the site via ReposiTrak.

Certified sites are publicly searchable through ReposiTrak, but audit reports cannot be shared without site permission.

Helpful Links

TrakCert™ Overview 

TrakCert™ Login

Pre-audit/Gap audits to verify progress or prepare for an audit

FSMA Preventive Controls

HACCP

Complementary Services

Food Fraud Database economically motivated adulteration

HorizonScan™ ingredient and supplier risk assessment

gComply Plus global contaminants database

Start Your Journey To Certification Today