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SQF - Safe, Quality Food

In today's global marketplace, consumers want assurances that the food they buy is safe, no matter where it was grown, raised or processed.

Retail and foodservice buyers also favor suppliers who have implemented and certified food safety and quality management systems, which focus on prevention and risk analysis, and provide a higher degree of assurance that a supplier will maintain their commitment to food safety and quality every day.

The SQF Program (Safe, Quality Food) is one of the world's leading food safety and quality management systems, designed to meet the needs of retailers and suppliers worldwide. The Program provides independent certification that a supplier's food safety and quality management system complies with international and domestic food safety regulations. This enables suppliers to assure their customers that food has been produced, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible standards, at all levels of the supply chain.

SQF is designed as a food safety program, but it also covers product quality, assuring consistent quality and meeting buyer specifications.

The SQF Program is administered by the SQF Institute (SQFI), a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and is the result of more than 15 years of development.

SQF certification is supported and in many cases mandated by an increasing number of international retailers and foodservice providers, and the SQF Program is part of a landmark agreement among seven global retailers on mutual acceptance of global food safety systems.

SQF Code (Edition 7)

GFSI benchmarked food safety standards SQF Codes 1000 and 2000 Standard have now been combined into one – creating SQF Code Edition 7. All SQF Certified Companies will be required to update their SQF processes to the new version of the SQF Code (Edition 7) from July 1st, 2012. SAI Global is pleased to offer an essential NEW1 day course on Key Changes to SQF Code Edition 7. This new course is designed to provide food safety professionals and already SQF Certified Suppliers with a detailed overview and understanding of the Key changes in SQF Code (Edition 7).

View course dates and locations for SQF Code Edition 7 – Key Changes course plus SQF Code Edition 7 – Implementation course. Both courses are available publicly and in-house.

Why choose SQF?

  • The SQF 2000 Code and Guidance documents for general food processing and specific food industry sectors.
  • Three levels of certification.
  • A third-party audit and annual certification that verifies the supplier is adhering to SQF's rigorous requirements.
  • Optional modules for responsible environmental, social and food defense practices.
  • SQF is a certification program endorsed by the Global Food Safe Initiative (GFSI).
  • The program involves a rigorous registration process for auditors.
  • Suppliers seeking SQF certification must appoint an SQF Practitioner to maintain and manage their system.
  • The Program provides additional tools such as guidance documents, self-assessments, audit checklists and voluntary modules to promote continual improvement of a supplier's SQF system

About GFSI

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), co-ordinated by CIES - The Food Business Forum, was launched in May 2000. The GFSI Foundation Board, a retailer-driven group, with manufacturer advisory members, provides the strategic direction and oversees the daily management.

Under the umbrella of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), 7 major retailers have come to a common acceptance of four GFSI benchmarked food safety schemes.

The benchmarking work undertaken by the standard owners and other key stakeholders on four food safety schemes (BRC, IFS, Dutch HACCP and SQF) has now reached a point of convergence. Each scheme has now aligned itself with common criteria defined by food safety experts from the food business, with the objective of making food manufacture as safe as possible. As a result, this will also drive cost efficiency in the supply chain and reduce the duplication of audits.

For more information about GFSI, please visit:

Audit, Certify and Register your System

Registration ServicesRegistration

US:  1-800-247-0802
Canada:  1-800-465-3717


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