Have you been told by a potential buyer that your product needs to be GFSI certified?
Well, GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) in itself is NOT a certification program. However you can become certified to a food safety standard (certification scheme) that is recognized by GFSI by meeting their stringent benchmarking standards. GFSI is coordinated by The Consumer Goods Forum which is made up of 42 retailers and manufacturers from all over the world. Many buyers will require that its suppliers achieve a “GFSI Benchmarked” certification scheme. There are many options for certification schemes that they recognize and they are listed below.
After you select the standard you wish to use like SQF certification or BRC (BRCGS) certification, you implement it in your business and then have a 3rd-party audit conducted by a certification body or (CB). After you successfully pass your audit, you will be granted your certificate.
FoodReady is your all-in-one food safety management system for GFSI certification.
- FoodReady has a HACCP/PC builder and recall plan builder.
- FoodReady provides a library of SQF Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) examples as part of its SQF software subscription.
- FoodReady provides a Verification Dashboard that allows for supervisor sign-offs and review of corrective actions in one single view
- FoodReady automates the corrective action process with conditional logic checklists and min and max values for food safety criteria, such as pH and temperature, inside the mobile app. Corrective action management is a requirement of SQF.
- FoodReady has a robust reporting section that allows for the creation of audit-ready reports for SQF auditors or dashboard views.
- FoodReady provides the ability when the FoodReady system is fully implemented to provide production traceability which is also a requirement of SQF.
- FoodReady has a recall management system.
- FoodReady has record keeping and document management.
- FoodReady has environmental monitoring programs.
- FoodReady has a complaint management system.
FoodReady software and consulting helps you get ready and stay ready for any scheduled or surprise GFSI related audit.
Use this link to schedule a demo of our software and see how FoodReady can help you pass a 3rd-party audit.
What are the 4 major steps to getting a GFSI Certificate?
One- Choose an appropriate GFSI Benchmarked Standard for certification.
GFSI Benchmarked Standards:
- SQF Edition 9
- BRC (BRCGS)
- FSSC 22000
- BRC-IOP Global Standard for Food Packaging and Food Packaging Materials
- Primus GFS Standard
- Global Red Meat Standard
- IFS Version 7
- IFS PACsecure 2
- GlobalG.A.P. Standard
Two – Relevant staff must be educated and trained on the requirements of your chosen GFSI Standard. You can find resources online for training for your chosen standard.
Three- Implement your food safety management system. You must use a document management system and record all the processes related to your food production, recall management, complaint management, batch management, environmental monitoring, HACCP plans, SOPs, PRPs, checklists etc.
Four- Pass an audit of your process and facility performed by a Certification Body to receive your certification.
What are the benefits of GFSI?
GFSI Certification is accepted by almost every food buyer and is considered the most comprehensive level of food safety management. The Costco audit has their own requirements which are based on GFSI with a few additions specific to Costco. Having a GFSI certification as your base and then implementing the Costco additions is not a huge leap.
Having GFSI Certification means you are providing safe quality food to the end consumer, while maintaining and improving your brand integrity. It also prepares your facility and process for government regulatory rules in use now and coming in the future. Getting GFSI compliant now will save you money in the long run by making your product “shelf ready” because virtually all buyers will accept GFSI as their preferred food safety certification for processed foods.
FoodReady.ai is a food safety software and consulting company. Our software has a HACCP builder, food traceability, you can create your own checklists to manage your HACCP plan or track other items, ingredients, tasks, or events. With our Enterprise program you will have access to food safety quality assurance professionals who can help you with GFSI, SQF, GMP, SOP, BRC, CGMP, HACCP, USDA, FDA FSMA, gap analysis, or prepare for audits like the Costco audit, the Whole Foods audit, Publix audit, Kroger audit, Safeway audit, Meier audit, HEB audit and more. We are offering a free 14-day trial FoodReady of our food safety software.