The Safe Quality Food (SQF) 2000 Code provides for the Food Supplier a food safety and quality management certification program that is tailored to their needs. It enables them to meet product trace, regulatory, food safety and commercial quality criteria in a structured and cost effective manner.
The SQF 2000 Code is designed for use by all sectors of the food industry. The Code is a HACCP quality management system that utilizes NACMCF and CODEX HACCP Principles and Guidelines, proven methods used by the food industry to reduce the incidence of unsafe food reaching the marketplace. It is designed to support industry or company branded product and to offer benefits to Suppliers and their customers at all links in the food supply chain. The Supplier and the customer first agree to a finished product specification. The Supplier then develops plans for its products and processes to cover controls necessary to ensure food safety and quality.
Products produced and manufactured under the SQF 2000 Code certification retain a high degree of acceptancein global markets.
The main feature of the Code is its emphasis on the systematic application of the HACCP Guidelines (see
Appendix 2). The implementation of an SQF 2000 management system addresses a buyer’s food safety and
quality requirements and provides the solution for businesses supplying local and global food markets.
Certification of SQF 2000 Systems by a Certification Body is not a statement that the Certification Body guarantees the safety of a Supplier’s food or service. It is not a guarantee that all food safety regulations are being met, or will continue to be met, at all times. It is a statement that the Supplier’s Food Safety Plans have been implemented in accordance with the HACCP Method and applicable regulatory requirements and that theyhave been validated and verified and determined effective to manage food safety. It is also a statement of theSupplier’s commitment to:
1. Produce safe, quality food
2. Comply with the requirements of the SQF 2000 Code
3. Comply with applicable food legislation
The development of the SQF 2000 Code emphasizes the importance of independent third party assurance of food safety and quality by all sectors of the food industry.
The SQF 2000 Code is divided into three Certification levels. An explanation of each level is provided in Appendix
1. Each Level is designed to indicate the level of development of a Producer’s food safety and quality management system as follows:
Level 1 Food Safety Fundamentals
Level 2 Certified HACCP Food Safety Plans
Level 3 Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management Systems
SQF 2000 (Safe Quality Food) certificate from NSF International. The SQF program provides independent certification that a supplier’s food safety and quality management systems comply with international and domestic food safety regulations. SQF 2000 certification is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized scheme, which was launched to enhance food safety, ensure consumer protection and strengthen consumer confidence.
This globally trusted food safety and quality certification provides an additional level of assurance and commitment to our customers that BI’s ingredients have been produced, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible quality standards across all levels of the supply chain.
QF 2000 is an HACCP-based food safety and quality management system. The Food Safety Modernization Act, which was recently signed into law by President Obama, makes it mandatory for all dietary supplement raw material suppliers to perform hazard analysis and have a risk-based food safety plan. In today’s marketplace no company can ignore food safety standards in any part of their supply chain.
The SQF 2000 Code requires the safety management system to include specifications for and control Raw Materials, Packaging, Contract Service Providers, Contract Manufacturers and Finished Product.
Section 4.4 Attaining Food Safety requires compliance with Food Legislation (Regulation), for an organisation to establish Safety Fundamentals, Safety Plans, control Incoming Goods and Services, establish Corrective and Preventative Action procedures and a Non-conforming Product/Equipment procedure. Control of Product Rework, Product Release and rotation of Stock is also required.
Section 4.5 addresses Verification and Validation requirements.
Responsibility, Frequency and Methods for Verification, Validation
Verification of Monitoring Activities, Product Sampling, Inspection and Analysis and Internal audits should be documented and included in a Verification Schedule.
The rest of section 4 of the SQF 2000 Code covers the requirements for Product Identification, Trace, Withdrawal and Recall, Site Security And those for Identity Preserved Foods.
Section 5 of the SQF Code outlines the standards required for Building and Equipment Design and Construction much of which is as per CODEX guidelines. Fundamentally Sites should be approved and in a suitable location or the environment managed to prevent safety risk. There is an emphasis on the building construction standards expected in food handling areas. The standard prescribes standards for equipment, utensils, protective clothing, hand washing facilities and vehicles. Section 5 also addresses the control of water and ice supply, storage facilities, separation of functions, on-site laboratories, staff amenities, first aid facilities and waste disposal.
Section 6 of the SQF 2000 Code clarifies the expected pre-requisite programs including personnel practices, training, calibration, pest control, maintenance, cleaning/sanitation, the monitoring water quality, control of physical contaminants, supplier approval, transport/delivery, waste management and allergen control.
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