SQF Certification

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • SQF Packaging
  • Certification Process

NSF International is accredited to certify to the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program, a comprehensive HACCP-based food safety and quality management certification system for all sectors of the food industry, from primary production to transport and distribution.

SQF Code, Edition 7 is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked food safety standard that supports industry or company-branded products and offers benefits to suppliers and their customers. Products produced and manufactured under the SQF Code certification retain a high degree of acceptance in global markets.

Contact us at +1 877.893.1325 or foodsafetysolutions@nsf.org to begin your SQF certification.

Benefits of Certification

Certification to GFSI benchmarked standards like SQF increases brand protection and minimizes risk. SQF certification provides independent verification that a product or process complies with specific international standards. It enables a food supplier to give assurances that food has been produced, prepared and handled according to the most recognized standards.

SQF certification demonstrates a commitment to quality processes and continual improvement, and enables access to top retailers.

On July 1, 2012, SQFI introduced SQF Code, Edition 7, which serves as the replacement for the SQF 1000 and SQF 2000 codes and can be applied to all sectors of the food industry. In addition, SQF offers a packaging standard applicable to packaging manufacturers and converters.

Why Work With NSF?

NSF International is the leading global certifier to GFSI benchmarked standards, with exceptional technical expertise, consistently calibrated auditors and capacity for a timely path to certification. Backed by nearly 70 years of food safety expertise and a current average of 35,000 GFSI certification audits performed annually, we enable companies around the globe to demonstrate compliance with the most recognized food safety standards in the world.

NSF is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), and has a worldwide network of highly skilled and experienced auditors to help organizations of all sizes implement complex food safety solutions. We can certify to all categories of SQF Code, Edition 7.

SQF Packaging

To help ensure food safety at all levels of the supply chain, many food producers are now requiring their packaging suppliers to implement a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program and to be certified to GFSI benchmarked standards such as SQF for Packaging.

The SQF code for packaging covers requirements for packaging design, manufacture, documentation, implementation and recordkeeping for a general food packaging manufacturing operation. The standard requires that a packaging product meets food packaging safety legislation, including U.S. FDA packaging materials specifications.

If you manufacture materials or packaging for the food industry, talk with us about food safety certification. Stay ahead of your competition and expand your market potential with certification to GFSI benchmarked standards by NSF International.

Certification Process

Certification to SQF generally takes an average of six to nine months, depending on a facility’s level of readiness. The process follows nine basic steps:

  1. You apply to NSF for certification.
  2. We identify your training needs/you receive training.
  3. You perform a self-assessment of compliance with the standard.
  4. We perform an optional pre-assessment (gap analysis).
  5. We perform a desk audit.
  6. We perform an onsite certification audit and identify corrective actions.
  7. Your facility addresses the corrective actions.
  8. We verify/approve corrective actions.
  9. We issue the certificate.

To maintain SQF certification, companies must re-certify every year.

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  • NSF has been an invaluable partner in planning the transition of Yum! suppliers to global food safety certification. They are true industry experts with unmatched knowledge of best practices and global supply chain solutions.Mary Townsend-Smith
    Yum! Restaurants International

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