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Get Ready for SQF 2018

By Jeff Chilton   |   

It’s time to get excited about the SQF Conference in Atlanta on October 23-25. This conference is an industry leading event with great educational programs by talented speakers. You will also learn more about the updated SQF Code requirements and have a great opportunity to network with your peers. I will be presenting with Frank Schreurs of SQFI on the new SQF Quality Code and hope to see you there! Read further for more on the new SQF Food Safety Fundamentals Course, SQF Edition 8 status, and the SQF Quality Code.

SQF Food Safety Fundamentals

The new Food Safety Fundamentals Code is a great solution for small and medium-sized suppliers without existing or robust food safety management programs in place. SQFI has developed the Fundamentals Program for Food Manufacturing and the Fundamentals Program for Primary Producers. Each program has both basic and intermediate levels which provide a step-by-step approach to improve food safety management. The new approach benefits emerging businesses by providing a streamlined path towards certifications, helping meet customer expectations and reducing audit expenses for smaller businesses. Find more information on the SQFI website.

A new training program specific to the Food Safety Fundamentals Program is currently being developed, and will be offered by the SQF Licensed Training Centers. An Online SQF Food Safety Fundamentals Course will be available on the Alchemy Academy by January 2019.

It amazes me that survey results from our training participants show almost 50% of the companies are still not GFSI certified. The Food Safety Fundamentals Program is a great way to get started on this path. This type of audit can replace existing one day GMP audits many companies go through and add additional credibility to your food safety and quality systems.


SQF Edition 8 Updates 

SQF Edition 8 has now been in effect since January 2018. As an SQF Auditor and SQF Consultant, I have seen a wide range of audit results from companies being very prepare— to companies being poorly prepared to comply with the updated code. Many companies have seen their audit results drop significantly with several non-conformances identified. We have completed numerous consulting projects for companies to help respond to corrective actions required for audit non-conformances. I implore you to be proactive and invest the time well in advance of your audit recertification dates to be fully prepared for your SQF Edition 8 audit. You will perform better, plus avoid the time and expenses of non-conformances or have to endure surveillance audits for scores less than 85. 

The SQF Edition 8 Code includes new and updated requirements to help continually improve your food safety and quality systems. These improvements help protect your company and brands, while also protecting consumers — a win-win for all.



SQF Quality Code

If you were not previously certified at SQF Level 3 or certified to the new SQF Quality Code, do it now! The new format is a Pass/Fail audit (with no adverse impact on your Food Safety Audit score) — which makes it very appealing. The SQF Quality Code helps suppliers implement formal Quality Process Control Systems that add significant value by helping reduce complaints, rework and non-conforming product. This system can really generate a healthy ROI for your company. Please plan to attend our session in Atlanta and visit SQFI to learn more.


Final Thoughts

See you in Atlanta! The SQF Conference is always fun and informative. SQF provides all the resources you need to have a world class food safety and quality system. I encourage you to take time to learn about what is offered and see how it applies to your operation to continually improve your company.

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