March 6, 2020
Dear SQF Stakeholder:
We are deeply concerned by the impact of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, and its potential effect on our SQF community. We understand that continuing restrictions on travel and general business continuity could limit our ability to conduct audits, and we urge you to remain in touch with us to help communicate and identify challenges.
SQF has in place a means to defer certification due to extenuating circumstances. We have used this system most recently for the Australian bushfires and for individual extension requests, such as floods and facility fires. All requests for certificate extension must come from the CB and at this time, SQF is only reviewing requests that are within 30 days of the certification audit date.
For your information, FMI has compiled background information, a preparedness checklist, resources and more to support the food industry: www.fmi.org/Coronavirus. Please use this link to access the latest information.
On this resource page, FMI developed a new guide, Coronavirus and Pandemic Preparedness for the Food Industry. This guide is specifically designed to help food retailers, wholesalers and suppliers undertake the necessary contingency planning to prepare for a pandemic. It is intended to be useful for any type of pandemic including influenza, coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19), or any other infectious disease outbreak.
We remain committed to you and the integrity of our food safety management system.
Senior Vice President and Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer