SQF (Safe Quality Food) Certification

QIMA/WQS offers SQF certification under the GFSI recognized for food processing and packaging companies, logistics providers, and other members of the food supply chain.

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification is a rigorous food safety and quality program recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The SQF food safety and quality codes are designed to meet consumer, industry, and regulatory requirements for all sectors of the food supply chain, from farm to fork. 

As a food producer, achieving certification under the Safe Quality Food Certification scheme helps you assure your buyers that their food products have been grown, produced, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest standards of food safety and quality. 

Is SQF the Right Certification Scheme for You? 

The SQF program links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification. QIMA/WQS offers SQF certification for all members of the food supply chain, under the following scopes: 

SQF Food Safety Fundamentals:

Solutions for small and medium sized suppliers who want to implement or improve their food safety management program.

SQF Food Safety Code for:

  • Primary Production 
  • Food Retail 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Manufacturing of Food Packaging 
  • Storage and Distribution 

SQF Food Safety Codes Edition 9

As food supply chains continue to evolve, the SQF has updated their code in order to continue to evolve alongside the global marketplace.

Edition 9 aligns with the latest GFSI benchmarking requirements and is designed to help you meet and exceed all industry, customer, and regulatory requirements to remain competitive across sectors.

Edition 9 will be mandatory as of May 24, 2021, however from now until then you are able to utilize version 8.1 for your audit.

Code Edition 9 - Overview and Highlight of Changes

Key Changes: 

These Food Sector Categories are now part of the Primary Production Code. FSC 2 is new under Ed. 9 and FSC 4 has been moved into this code as well.

  • Updates to requirements for in-house laboratories.
  • More clarification on co-manufacturers.
  • Focus on Food Safety Culture.

Download SQF Codes Edition 9 here.

For SQF guidance, tips, and checklists, click here.

SQF Quality Code: 

Is a site-specific, process, and product certification standard with an emphasis on the systematic application of CODEX Alimentarius Commission HACCP principles and guidelines for control of food safety and food quality hazards.

What is Assessed During SQF Certification?  

All applicable system elements and the relevant GAP & GMP module(s) are assessed as part of the SQF audit. Where an element is not applicable and appropriately justified, the SQF food safety audit marks it as "not applicable" (N/A) in the audit report. 

Mandatory elements are designated with “Mandatory” in the system elements in the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing, System Elements. Mandatory elements must be audited, and compliance/non-compliance reported (cannot be reported as “not applicable” or “exempt”). 

The mandatory elements of an SQF food safety audit are: 

  • Food Safety Policy 
  • Management Responsibility 
  • Management Review 
  • Complaint Management 
  • Food Safety Management System 
  • Document Control 
  • Records 
  • Food Legislation 
  • Good Manufacturing Practices 
  • Food Safety Plan 
  • Approved Supplier Program 
  • Product Release 
  • Validation and Effectiveness 
  • Verification and Monitoring 
  • Corrective and Preventative Action 
  • Internal Audit 
  • Product Identification 
  • Product Trace 
  • Product Withdrawal and Recall 
  • Food Defense Plan 
  • Allergen Management for Food Manufacturing (mandatory for food manufacturers only) 
  • Allergen management for Pet Food Manufacturing (mandatory for pet food manufacturers only) 
  • Training Program 

Why Do You Need SQF Certification? 

  • Promote confidence in food safety, quality and legality 
  • Enhance your brand’s marketing image 
  • Create a platform for consistent improvement in process quality and safety 
  • Streamline process management by helping to proactively identify and manage risk  
  • Encourage more responsible agricultural and manufacturing processes 
  • Provide proof of due diligence and comply with regulatory requirements 

Why Choose QIMA/WQS for SQF Certification? 

  • A team with over 30 years of experience in the food industry supply chain, ready to deliver end-to-end solutions to your business.   
  • Specialized in the food industry, with a structure designed to facilitate and expedite the complex certification process and support you every step of the way.  
  • QIMA/WQS counts with local experienced food auditors approved for multiple schemes specializing in all food safety quality areas.
  • More than 9,000 satisfied clients at every stage of the food supply chain.