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What Is an SQF Audit? How Do I Pass an SQF Audit?

Or Why Time and Temperature Controls are Important for Food Safety

Saro Loucks

Saro Loucks

August 23, 2022

SQF audit, Safe Quality Foods, Checklist, Inspection, food safety, how to pass a SQF audit, GFSI, HACCP

An SQF (Safe Quality Food) audit is a system of food safety requirements created and managed by the SQF Institute and is a Food Safety Management Certification program. SQF is used to control the food safety risks that inherently happen with various types of food processing, packaging, and storage. 

There are many benefits that come with being SQF certified. SQF certification is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Your food packaging, processing, or food retail business can build confidence and trust with customers, who will feel secure knowing that you have a rigorous food safety system in place.

SQF is "the gold standard" of food safety audits.

A successful SQF audit is considered the “gold standard” of food safety certifications. SQF is also considered a more rigorous audit than GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). A SQF certification will make your food product eligible to get into retail stores such as Walmart, Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, and Meier. FoodReady has food safety professionals that can help you navigate and pass this difficult process with flying colors by performing gap assessments, mock audits and internal audits of your process and facility.

To get SQF certified, a third-party SQF Auditor must be brought into your facility to examine your manufacturing process and ensure the facility is meeting the stringent requirements of the SQF Institute and the United States Government. Each category of food manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, and distribution must meet the standards on the SQF audit checklists.

FoodReady can help you get prepared for the SQF audit and can perform internal audits, mock audits, and gap assessments, as well as write HACCP plans. And don’t forget we have software and templates to write your own HACCP plans as well. 

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