What is SQF?
The SQF food safety standard, first developed in Australia in 1994, has been owned and managed by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) since 2003; it is recognized as Safe Quality Foods Institute (SQFI). The SQF food safety standard has a unique structure which includes a modular approach. Module 2 of the standard is applied to all food manufacturers, and applies to basic management requirements and application of the HACCP process. In addition to Module 2, the other Modules of the standard are applied which contain industry-specific GMP and Prerequisite programs based on what the company produces (such as meats, beverages, grains & nuts, produce, etc.).
For additional flexibility the SQF standard allows certification at “level 2”, which primarily focuses on food safety with minimal focus on quality programs, or “level 3,” which includes both food safety requirements and quality program requirements. SQF at level 2 was recognized in 2004 by GFSI as a standard that meets the benchmarked requirements. The SQF Code level 3 exceeds the requirements of the GFSI benchmark documents.