SQF Code Edition 9 Product Traceability and Crisis Management – Mandatory Product Identification Specifics in Section

Jun 12, 2023

In SQF Edition 9, a requirement has been modified regarding product changeover and label reconciliation, specifically in section Product start-up, product changeover, and packaging changeover (including label changes) procedures shall be documented and implemented to ensure that the correct product is in the correct package and with the correct label and that the changeover is inspected and approved by an authorized person. Procedures shall be implemented to ensure that label use is reconciled, and any inconsistencies investigated and resolved. Product changeover and label reconciliation records shall be maintained. 

Here's what you need to know: 

Purpose: The purpose of this requirement is to ensure proper control and verification of labels during a product changeover that includes a new label reconciliation requirement.

Product Changeover: SQF Edition 9 emphasizes the importance of effectively managing product changeover procedures. It requires organizations to have documented procedures in place that outline the steps to be followed during product changeovers to prevent cross-contamination, allergen transfer, or other potential hazards. 

Label Reconciliation: The requirement also focuses on label reconciliation, which involves verifying that the product labels match the product being produced. It is crucial to ensure that correct labels are applied to the corresponding products, minimizing the risk of mislabeling, consumer confusion, and a potential recall.

Documentation: SQF Edition 9 mandates the documentation of product changeover and label reconciliation procedures, including specific instructions, checklists, or forms that demonstrate compliance with the requirements. These documents serve as evidence of effective implementation and facilitate audits and inspections. 

Training and Verification: To comply with this requirement, personnel involved in product changeover and label reconciliation must be adequately trained. The organization should provide training on the procedures, expectations, and potential risks associated with these processes. Additionally, regular verification and validation activities should be conducted to ensure ongoing compliance. 

Continuous Improvement: SQF Edition 9 encourages organizations to continuously improve their product changeover and label reconciliation processes. By monitoring performance, analyzing data, and implementing corrective actions as necessary, companies can enhance their efficiency, accuracy, and overall food safety practices. 

See more compliance insights in the new SQF Practitioner: SQF Code, Edition 9 Updates and Insights. 

Download the SQF Resources that are Right for You 

It is important to note that the specific requirements and sub-sections within each area of the Code vary depending on the industry scope, and it is recommended to refer to the SQFI website and SQF Edition 9 guidance document for label reconciliation for a detailed and accurate understanding of the code structure and its specific requirements. Review the Code downloads. 

SQF Professionals Are Your Resource 

To ensure accurate compliance, it is highly recommended that you refer to the official documentation of SQF Edition 9 and seek guidance from qualified food safety professionals for comprehensive and tailored advice. 

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