The Safe Quality Food Institute’s (SQFI) SQF Codes are a process and product certification standard created and maintained by SQFI, a division of the Arlington, Virginia-based trade association, Food Marketing Institute (FMI).
The SQF Codes are based on the international standard ISO/IEC 17065 and benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) Guidance Document version 6.4 for use by all food industry sectors from primary production to transport and distribution.
The main feature of the SQF Codes is its emphasis on the systematic application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) to identify and control food safety and food quality hazards. Implementing an SQF management system addresses a buyer’s food safety and quality requirements and provides a comprehensive solution for businesses supplying local and global food markets.
SQF Codes certification supports industry or company-branded products and offers benefits to certified sites and their customers. Implementing an SQF System addresses a buyer’s food safety and quality requirements and provides a solution for businesses supplying local and global food markets. Products produced and manufactured under SQF Code certification retain a high degree of acceptance in international markets.
SQFI updated and redesigned the codes with edition 8.1 in 2017 for use by all food industry sectors from primary production to storage and distribution and included a food safety code for retailers.
With this standard, SQFI helps make certification more attainable for smaller companies by dividing the process into three steps: from Level 1, which incorporates basic food safety controls appropriate for low-risk products, all the way to Level 3, indicating a comprehensive implementation of food safety and quality management systems development.