The first thing to consider before developing and documenting an SQF System is to determine the scope of the system to be implemented. For Producers this will normally cover from receipt of raw materials to dispatch of finished product. This means that the system will cover all those food safety management activities that are under the control of the Producer or Manufacturer.
A GAP Assessment is a review the status of the systems, procedures and protocols that are already in place to determine what needs to be done to fill in the gaps in order to achieve the level of certification required. This assessment is an essential first step to SQF Certification.
Are You Supplying Safe, Quality Food?
This is a fundamental issue the must be addressed by any producer or manufacturer who supplies food to the local and/or international market. An individual supplier needs to consider the following:
- Do I understand the potential food safety hazards of the product or process that I control?
- Is my food safety plan robust and does it cover all the food safety hazards applicable to my operations?
- Do I understand what my customer wants in terms of product quality?
- If something were to go wrong, or if my business was involved in a food safety incident, could I demonstrate that I have been diligent in the selection of my suppliers?
- Do I have documented procedures for controlling food safety and quality?
- Do I have records to prove that inspections and tests have been completed correctly?
This is an assessment of the status of the systems, procedures and protocols that are already in place to determine what needs to be done to fill in the gaps in order to achieve the level of certification required. This assessment is an essential first step to SQF Certification.
Level 1 Food Safety Fundamentals: Indicates that prerequisite programs and fundamental food safety controls have been implemented to provide a sound foundation for further development of your SQF system
Level 2 Certified HACCP Food Safety Plans: Incorporates all Level 1 system requirements and indicates that a food safety risk analysis of the product and its associated process has been completed to identify hazards and the actions taken to eliminate, prevent or reduce their occurrence.
Level 3 Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System: Incorporates all Level 1 and Level 2 system requirements and indicates that a food quality risk analysis of the product and its associated process has been completed, that the actions taken to prevent the incidence of poor quality and the remaining quality management system procedures have been implemented. It is only at this Level 3 that a supplier can use the SQF Logo on product, labels, and marketing materials.