The SQF Institute released today, May 9th, 2013, two key documents for those suppliers seeking to implement and maintain an SQF System and for auditors assessing those systems. The documents, titled General Guidance for Developing, Documenting, Implementing, Maintaining, and Auditing an SQF System, are available for modules 2 and 11 of the SQF Code, edition 7.1.
These guidance documents have been designed to provide suppliers interpretations on how to design, develop, document, implement, and maintain an SQF System for a general food processing operation (modules 2 and 11) and to assist SQF registered auditors in auditing the SQF Code, edition 7.
The SQF Institute recently contracted with Leavitt Partners Global Food Safety Solutions (LP GFSS) to compare the elements of SQF Level 2 certification (specifically Modules 2 and 11) to the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed Preventive Controls rule. Dr. David Acheson, Partner and Managing Director at LP GFSS, and his team identified similarities between the SQF Code at Level 2 and the proposed Preventative Controls rule.
Last week, SQF received the executive summary of the comparison and a cover letter from Dr. Acheson in which he stated, “that being SQF level 2 certified to today’s SQF Code is a very strong start” to being in compliance with the new requirements of the proposed Preventive Controls rule.
On April 9th, 2013, the complete SQF Code Level 2 and Preventative Controls proposed rule comparison report was received, and provides side-by-side comparison between the SQF Code Level 2 and FDA’s Preventative Controls proposed rule. The comparison report specifies where SQF Level 2 certification exceeds the regulations of FDA’s proposed Preventative Controls rule and also defines where there is a difference.
The SQF Institute recently contracted with Leavitt Partners Global Food Safety Solutions (LP GFSS) to compare the elements of SQF Level 2 certification (specifically Modules 2 and 11) to the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed Preventive Controls Rule. Dr. David Acheson, Partner and Managing Director at LP GFSS, and his team identified similarities between the SQF Code at Level 2 and the proposed Preventative Controls rule. They also articulated areas in which the SQF Institute could better align with the new rules.
Last week, SQF received the executive summary of the comparison and a cover letter from Dr. Acheson in which he stated, “that being SQF level 2 certified to today’s SQF Code is a very strong start” to being in compliance with the new requirements of the proposed Preventive Controls rule. The executive summary provides a table defining, element by element, the similarities and differences between the SQF code, Level 2 and the proposed controls rule. The executive summary also proposes how SQF certified facilities regulated by FDA can effectively meet the requirements of both SQF and FDA in the future.
On April 1st, 2013, SQF released edition 7.1 of the SQF Code. This version, along with a summary of the key changes, are available under the Documents tab of the SQF website. There are nearly 50 changes, which include both grammar and numbering edits, along with new clarifications of selected Code elements.
Here, a few of the more significant changes, are highlighted.
- The addition of the feed and pet food modules (modules 3 and 4) and the Harmonized produce standard (module 7H).
- The requirement for auditors to review the entire facility, regardless of the scope of certification (Part A, 2.7).
- The addition of a requirement for facilities to report all regulatory warning letters to SQF (Part A, 5.3).
- An addition of an element that requires the facility to follow the requirements of Appendix 3: SQF Quality Shield and Logo Rules of Use (184.108.40.206).
Edition 7.1 will become effective on July 1st, 2013, to which the new modules will be available for use at that time. It is recommended that certified suppliers consult their certification body in order to gain a better understanding as to how this version of the code will apply within their facility.
SQF is in the process of submitting the feed, pet food, and the Harmonized produce to GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) for benchmarking. The SQF Institute will be sure to keep stakeholders informed of this progress.
Should there are any questions, please contact us.
Following the proposal of two new food safety rules by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 4, 2013, Hogan Lovells US LLP of Washington, D.C., recently issued memorandums that overview each proposed rule. Each memorandum provides key take-aways for those companies that will subsequently be affected. The FDA proposed rules address preventive controls for human food and produce safety, each highlighting the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) chief effort to shift the food safety focus from reactive to preventive.
Hogan Lovells US LLP of Washington, D.C., recently met with the staff overseeing facility registration from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) subsequent to the announcement of an extension on the current renewal period under FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act). Following the meeting, Hogan Lovells prepared a memorandum alerting companies of the potential repercussions faced in the event that their FDA facility registrations are not renewed by the January 31st, 2013 deadline. The memorandum, issued on January 14th, also offers guidance for companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for consumption in the United States to ensure that facility registration renewal is completed in a timely manner.
To view the entire memorandum released Monday, click here.
Many in the SQF community would know the name Ross Peters, who sadly and suddenly passed away on December 14th. Ross was involved with the SQF program from it’s inception in Australia in 1995, and was the Proprietor and Principal Auditor of one of the first SQF Certification Bodies – Food Operations. Subsequently, Ross was the owner and Technical Manager of Advancing Food Safety, which was the only active SQF Training Center in Australia. Even after SQFI moved to FMI in the United States in 2003, Ross and his wife Debbie continued to play an active role in the SQF program, and hosted the only Australian SQF Conference in Melbourne, Australia in 2009.
Prior to his retirement in early 2012, Ross had a major influence on the food safety community; training, counseling, and auditing many individuals and businesses both in Australia and overseas. His positive impact on the industry will continue to be felt for years to come.
The management of SQFI extend our deepest condolences to Ross’s wife Debbie and the Peters family, as well as his many close friends and colleagues.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance documents concerning food facility registration renewals. Due to the delay in implementation of biennial registration renewal for the 2012 cycle, FDA plans to exercise enforcement discretion with regards to facility registration renewals submitted after December 31st, 2012, for a period of 31 days, ending January 31st, 2013. Facilities have been encouraged to renew their registrations early.
To review each recently issued facility registration guidance document per the December 12th Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) Constituent Update, click here.
Hogan Lovells US LLP, of Washington, D.C., recently prepared a memorandum featuring a top-level comparison of highlights of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), from a U.S. perspective. The document aims to provide U.S. clients with a stronger understanding of the consistencies and differences between the two countries’ regulatory systems.
To view the memorandum, released on December 6, 2012, click here.
To view the full text of the SFCA click here.
SQF Institute announced the winners of the 2012 Quality Achievement Awards on Thursday, November 8th at the 2012 SQF International Conference held in Cincinnati, Ohio. SQF Certification Body of the Year, Training Center of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, and the Outstanding Achievement Award were presented. Awards were distributed for demonstration of superior dedication and support to help endorse and improve the SQF program around the globe. View each category and it’s recipient below.