Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code

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Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code

We offer certification to the SQF Food Safety Codes, which include specific codes for Food Manufacturing, Storage and Distribution, Food Packaging Materials, Primary Food Production and the SQF Quality Code, which can be applied in addition to the Food Safety Codes for any industry sector.

The SQF Code(s) meets the needs of all suppliers in the food industry and emphasizes the systematic application of HACCP for control of food safety hazards, as well as food quality (with the addition of the SQF Quality Code). SQF Code(s) implementation addresses food safety, while the SQF Quality Code addresses quality requirements and is ideal for businesses supplying local and global food markets.

SQF Certification offers GFSI-benchmarks for all of the SQF Food Safety Codes. The SQF Quality code is an add-on certification for quality, sustainability and improvement.

What Are the Key Benefits?

SQF audits are often a good fit for companies that want to test their written programs first to see if they are ready for a full audit because these audits are divided into two separate phases: documentation and facility. Companies can make corrections between the two audit phases without impacting their final score, which can save money in the long run. Additionally, because the SQF Quality Code is not scored and is not integrated into the Food Safety audit and score, it can be added at any time without risking the SQF Food Safety certification.

Why Use AIB International Over Other SQF-Approved Certification Bodies?

  • Our auditors are well calibrated, which means our clients are less likely to have their certificates revoked or withdrawn due to procedure error by the certification body.
  • AIB International is committed to providing the best possible products and services to our valued clients at the most competitive price points in the industry.
  • 90% of companies using AIB International as their certification body stay with us. The industry average is 79.9%.
  • Our auditors are routinely witnessed by ANSI, our accreditation body.

Product Categories

AIB International has auditors competent in the following SQF product categories:

  • Dairy Food Processing
  • Bakery and Snack Food Processing
  • Fruit and Vegetable Processing (including Nuts)
  • Canning, Pasteurizing (except dairy), UHT, and Aseptic Operations
  • Ice, Drink, and Beverage
  • Confectionery
  • Preserved Foods
  • Food Ingredient
  • Recipe Meals
  • Oils, Fats
  • Cereal Grains
  • Fresh Produce Wholesaling and Distribution
  • Repackaging
  • Food Wholesaling and Distribution
  • Food Sector Packaging Materials
  • Pet Food
  • Animal Food

What Is the SQF Certification Process?

  1. Pre-assessment
    An optional audit used to assess the level of compliance of the system against the SQF Code (and level).
  2. Certification
    Desktop review and facility audit to assess the effectiveness of a facility’s system against the requirements of the SQF Code. Certification is granted for rating of E, G, or C (Excellent, Good, or Compliant) and is valid for 12 months.
  3. Recertification Audit
    Recertification verifies continued effectiveness of a facility’s system and reviews past performance over the period of the certification (12 months).
  4. Surveillance Audit
    These audits are required in the event of C rating during certification or recertification audits and are conducted after six months.
  5. Unannounced Audit
    Certified SQF suppliers are required to have one unannounced audit within their three-year certification cycle, but they are not conducted during the initial certification audit or on a surveillance audit. Select Site status is granted to sites that choose to have an unannounced audit every year.

AIB International obtains accreditation based on scheme owner's requirements.

Further Reading

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Certification is provided by AIB International Certification Services, a wholly owned subsidiary and separate company. Use of AIB International’s consulting and training services does not influence certification outcome.