Now that 2016 is behind us, we are able to reflect on the year’s progress and shortcomings. To help us better understand this from SQF’s perspective, we invited LeAnn Chuboff, Senior Technical Director for Safe Quality Food Institute, to discuss a quick recap of the compliance activities (recalls, top non-conformities, etc.) SQF saw in 2016.
The Safe Quality Food Institute program (SQF) of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is still one of the most popular schemes for food and beverage manufacturers. But with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) coming into effect later this year for most facilities, SQF wanted to make a few updates based on feedback and data received.
As we see the final rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) begin to roll out, with effective dates beginning at the end of this year, one thing is common between these published rules and even with GFSI – your training is a crucial piece to the FSMA and GFSI audit puzzle.
After your necessary GMP programs and have been implemented, HACCP plans can be developed for your GFSI scheme. But how do you get started?
The 7th issue of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety began audits July 1, 2015, and with the few months that have passed, we now have information and results coming back to help paint a picture of the readiness of sites for not only Issue 7 changes, but also for some of the recurring non-conformities overall.
BRC Global Standards is a leading safety and quality certification program, with over 23,000 certified sites worldwide, over 18,000 certified to the BRC Food Standard, and with certificates issued in 118 different countries around the globe.
What are good manufacturing practices (GMPs)?
According to Sonia Akbarzadeh, Founder and Partner of Food Industry Consulting, who recently hosted a webinar (Intro to cGMPs: The Building Blocks to GFSI Compliance), GMPs ensure products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards and are considered the foundation of any food safety program, as they provide the necessary environmental and operating conditions for the production of high quality and safe foods.
GMPs are required before any advanced programs like HACCP can be implemented. They are designed in the form of detailed programs and procedures that include guidelines to instruct employees on proper practices to prevent, eliminate, or reduce food safety hazards. But why are GMPs so important?
HACCP’s principles are prevalent across all segments of food production and are primarily concerned with raw materials, products, and processes, and often are mandated by large brands to their suppliers, and suppliers’ suppliers. Additionally, HACCP’s principles have been integrated into all GFSI and audit scheme requirements, including BRC Global Standards.
BRC Global Standards is a leading safety and quality certification program, used by over 20,000 certificated suppliers in 90 countries, with certification issued through a worldwide network of accredited Certification Bodies. The BRC Food Safety Standard is a leading global brand recognized by thousands of customers worldwide, and has certificated over 15,000 suppliers in over 100 countries around the globe.
Becoming certified with a GFSI scheme is a great accomplishment for any food manufacturing company, especially when one thinks about the amount of effort that goes into achieving compliance. Gathering the required documentation alone can be a daunting task.