Safe Quality Food Institute Endorses the Gluten-Free Certification Program

Offering a Management System Approach to Controlling Gluten

Arlington, VA June 17, 2016

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program, recognized globally by retailers and foodservice providers who require a rigorous and credible food safety management system, is proud to announce the formation of a strategic partnership with the Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG), owners of the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP).

As the gluten-free market continues to forecast high-growth, brand owners who are committed to protecting their name require increased food safety and verified evidence before making regulated gluten-free claims. SQFI recognizes that the GFCP is a quality program and recommends the GFCP to suppliers seeking a gluten-free certification.

The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) is a voluntary science-based program designed for manufacturers and brand owners committed to producing safe, reliable gluten-free products for consumers suffering from celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The program requires the implementation of stringent, risk based and preventative gluten-free controls, which easily combines with a globally recognized food safety management system.

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About the Safe Quality Food Program
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program, a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only major system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers third-party accredited certification for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management.

About the Allergen Control Group Inc.
The Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG) is a privately held corporation which owns and operates the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), endorsed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness now operating as Beyond Celiac in the USA and the Canadian Celiac Association.

For news and media information, please contact:
Sarah Malenich, Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)
Phone: 202.220.0660
smalenich@sqfi.com

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SQFI Announces the 2015 SQFI Quality Achievement Award Winners

Sarah Malenich
Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)
202-220-0660
smalenich@sqfi.com

SQFI Announces the 2015 SQFI Quality Achievement Award Winners

Arlington, VA– The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) recently announced the SQF Quality Achievement Awards at their 2015 International Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. These five awards recognize individuals and organizations that contribute to and improve the SQFI program’s global mission to provide a rigorous and credible food safety management system. Finalists in each category were honored and recognized during the conference.

“Producing safe food from farm to fork is a top priority for all food retailers and manufacturers,” said Robert Garfield, Senior Vice President of SQFI. “This year’s winners of our Quality Achievement Awards demonstrate how SQF Certification goes beyond a simple food safety audit to inspire a comprehensive food safety system with checks and balances along our global supply chain.”

SQFI Auditor of the Year
Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding performance as a credentialed SQF Auditor.
• Heena Patel – Technical Director, Supply Chain Food Safety Audit Services, SCS Global Services

SQFI Trainer of the Year
Awarded to a registered SQF Trainer who has contributed significantly to promoting the SQF
mission and supporting SQF stakeholders in implementing robust food safety and quality
practices.
• Jeffrey Strout – Technical Services Independent Trainer, Mérieux NutriSciences

SQFI Practitioner of the Year
This award is given to an SQF Practitioner or an Individual within an SQF Certified facility or company, who has demonstrated accomplishments in driving continuous growth and has taken their facility or company above and beyond the SQF Program.
• Cory Robertson – Quality Systems Coordinator, Redpath Sugar Ltd. (A member of ASR Group)

SQFI Manufacturer/Distributor/Primary Producer of the Year
Awarded to an SQF certified manufacturer, distributor, or primary producer who has shown a commitment to excellence through the SQF program.
• Publix Super Markets, Inc.

SQF Distinguished Service Award
This award is given to an individual who has freely shared his/her time and expertise throughout the industry in the areas of food safety.
• Bill McBride – Principal and Managing Director of Foodlink Management Services and SQFI Australia Representative

Congratulations again to all the winners! You have gone above-and-beyond portraying extraordinary understanding and commitment to global food safety and the SQF program!

For details and more information about the SQF Quality Achievement Awards winners, please visit www.sqfi.com.

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. 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. Additionally as a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the SQF program incorporates continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. This information is passed on to SQF certified suppliers, keeping them a step ahead of their competitors. www.sqfi.com

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SQF Level 2 Certification gets you ready to be FSMA Compliant

We’ve done our homework…and we got an A! SQFI knows that our stakeholders have questions about how SQF Certification will prepare them to be FSMA compliant, and now we’ve answered those questions. SQFI contracted The Acheson Group (TAG) to compare the elements of SQF Level 2 Certification (specifically Modules 2 and 11) to the FDA FSMA Final Rule requirements. The analysis examined the two major aspects of the Final Rule: the new preventive controls requirements that industry must comply with in order to implement the requirements of Section 103 of FSMA, and the updated current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) (current 21 C.F.R. Part 110 now re-designated as Part 117).

As the food industry looks to protect consumers, customers, and their brand as well as successfully be in compliant with the final new rules, TAG’s analysis indicates that being SQF Level 2 certified is a very robust, strong advantage to fulfilling FSMA requirements.

Click here to read the executive summary

Click here to read the entire analysis

Additionally, the FDA has provided factsheets and flowcharts on the FSMA webpage for each rule.  These documents are an entry point to understanding who is covered under each rule.

Links to flowcharts and  key facts:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472891.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472461.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472499.pdf

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The FSMA Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food rules are now final

The FSMA Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food rules are now final. The preventive controls final rules were announced on September 10, 2015 and incorporated thousands of public comments, including valuable input from farmers, consumers, the food industry and academic experts, to create a flexible and targeted approach to ensuring food safety.

SQF Certification prepares a company for FSMA Compliance in the below areas:

  • Supplier Controls
  • Building an Effective Food Safety Plan
  • HACCP and HARPC
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Verification and Validation
  • Management Commitment
  • Being Audit Ready All the Time

At SQFI we strive to deliver consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors, and valued by all stakeholders. We invite you to join us at our 2015 International Conference where we will are offering a FSMA Workshop: Understanding The Final Rule For Preventive Controls For Human Food as well as having a high level FDA Executive to Keynote speak on FSMA in 2016 and beyond.

You can also read a comparison of the FSMA Proposed Rules to our current SQF Program here.

For more information on the FSMA Final Rules:

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SQF InfoDays Salinas, CA – October 1st

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SQF InfoDays New Brunswick June 18th

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SQF InfoDays Illinois September 9th

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Safe Quality Food Institute Announces Ethical Sourcing Standard

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Safe Quality Food Institute Announces Ethical Sourcing Standard

First food safety program to offer responsible sourcing certification

ARLINGTON, VA – March 19, 2015 – The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) today announces its Ethical Sourcing Standard – a voluntary supplement for companies who are committed to ensuring socially and environmentally responsible practices in food production. The Ethical Sourcing Standard is a system which combines growing and processing food with environmental and social stewardship. This system embraces ethical and transparent practices, with care taken in the treatment of those who grow, harvest and manufacture food across the supply chain, and with respect given to the health of consumers.

According to Robert Garfield, Senior Vice President of SQFI, conscientious consumers are looking beyond food safety and seeking assurance, now more than ever, that their food has been grown and processed in a manner that meets high standards of social and environmental responsibility.

“We saw this growing consumer demand, and immediately began developing the Ethical Sourcing Standard. We are very excited to become the first food safety program to offer an Ethical Sourcing certification,” Garfield explains. “For companies, receiving this certification shows their customers that sourcing responsibly throughout the supply chain is important.”

SQFI’s Ethical Sourcing Standard addresses a host of social and environmental issues. To obtain a certificate of completion, food suppliers will need to meet audit standards concerning issues such as wage compliance, child labor, occupational health and safety, pollution prevention, air emissions management, and waste management.

For more information on SQFI’s Ethical Sourcing standard, visit www.sqfiethicalsourcing.com. The complete Ethical Sourcing Standard, certification and implementation requirements, and other resources are available on the website for download, free of charge. To stay abreast of the latest with SQFI and the industry trends, be sure to follow SQFI on Twitter @SQFI and Facebook.

About The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. 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. Additionally as a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the SQF program incorporates continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. This information is passed on to SQF certified suppliers, keeping them a step ahead of their competitors. www.sqfi.com

 

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SQFI Website Is Now Multilingual

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Safe Quality Food Institute Sponsors and Exhibits at 2015 Global Food Safety Conference
SQFI to unveil multilingual website during the week of conference

ARLINGTON, VA – March 3, 2015 – The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) today announces its exhibition and gold-level sponsorship of the 2015 GFSI Global Food Safety Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 3-5th. Supporting its commitment to global food safety, SQFI’s new multilingual website will go live during the week of the conference.

According to Robert Garfield, Senior Vice President of SQFI, addressing every link in the global food supply chain is key to assuring food safety amidst an increasingly globalized and complex food industry. “For almost two decades, we have focused on developing and delivering consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs,” explains Garfield. “In the spirit of the Global Food Safety Conference, we’re excited to take our commitment a step further by launching multilingual websites and by sponsoring the event itself.”

Beginning in March, The Safe Quality Food Institute website will be available in four additional languages; French Canadian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Japanese – representing each of SQFI’s four largest international markets. While SQFI remains the only US based GFSI benchmarked scheme, SQFI is committed to global development serving more than 200 countries with 32 licensed training centers around the world.

Bringing together over 800 leading food safety professionals from more than 50 countries around the world, the GFSI Global Food Safety Conference is a unique annual event created for the advancement of global food safety. The conference will provide attendees the opportunity to network with industry peers, gain cutting edge food safety knowledge and share ideas with internationally reputed industry experts.

For more information on SQFI, visit www.sqfi.com and follow SQFI on Twitter @SQFI and Facebook to stay abreast of the SQFI news and industry trends.

SQFI will be exhibiting at booth #1 of the Global Food Safety Conference.

About The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. 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. Additionally as a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the SQF program incorporates continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. This information is passed on to SQF certified suppliers, keeping them a step ahead of their competitors. www.sqfi.com

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SQFI Achieves FSC 25 and 26 GFSI Benchmarking

Modules 2 and 12 image 1

SQFI Achieves GFSI Benchmarking to Cover Food Sector Categories 25 and 26

SQFI is excited and pleased to announce that our Storage and Distribution of Food Products Program has received Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Benchmarking! Benchmarking covers Modules 2 and 12 of the SQF Code and refers to Food Sector Categories 25 and 26. This module meets the Good Distribution Practice requirements for the transport and storage of perishable and non-perishable food and feed products. Suppliers implementing this module must also meet the requirements of Module 2: SQF System Elements. Module 12 is intended for distribution facilities that do not process or repackage. Facilities that process food such as slicing, dicing, relabeling, and repackaging of products, for example, a case of cucumbers that is received and repackaged and relabeled into smaller cases must use the applicable module 10.

Click here for a copy of the program documents

Since 2010 SQFI has been diligently seeking GFSI benchmarking, where applicable, for all our Food Sector Categories. We are excited to offer these highly anticipated benchmarked modules to our stakeholders so they can be assured they are transporting and storing perishable and non-perishable food and feed products safely. This latest addition to the SQF Program further demonstrates our vision to be the single most trusted source for global food safety and quality certification.

Below is a timeline of SQFI benchmarking history

Modules 2 and 12 image 2

Receiving SQF certification helps to ensure that the products that are transported and stored have passed rigorous international food safety requirements, including HACCP. SQF food safety certification is the only program recognized by GFSI, which links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification.

As a distribution facility, the SQF Certification will benefit your business by the following:

Compliance – The requirements in the SQF code meet and often exceed many international food safety regulatory rules, including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules

Confidence – SQF is a food safety system that can help protect your brands and consumers with one of the most rigorous, globally recognized programs and state of the art data management system

Global Recognition – a program recognized by the GFSI and food retailers worldwide

* Enhanced Protection – The SQF program provides you with data and information that has integrity, consistency, and provides a higher level of credibility than other schemes

Access to Information – Free access to the SQF program, and our supporting documents, audit information, and SQF technical experts and consultants

Quality Management – The SQF program includes a level of certification specifically focused on product quality and the maintenance of private label specifications at the manufacturing level.

Reduced Product Loss – The SQF systems approach to specification management will help improve operational efficiency

SQFI continuously seeks ways to improve our program and processes. Our goal is to be the single most trusted source for global food safety and quality certification. SQFI welcomes your thoughts and recommendations to make an efficient and robust management system even better. Please contact us at info@sqfi.com to submit questions, leave feedback and request more information.

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