SQF edition 8- review of changes
The Safe Quality Food Institute has released Edition 8 of the Food Standards Code and Quality Code.
The new code requirements aligned with the latest GFSI requirements.
The new edition was released 31 March 2017.
Implementation is 02 January 2018
You can download the SQF Code documents from the SQF Institute website: http://www.sqfi.com/documents/
Here is a short summary of the changes, from edition 7.2- to edition 8
This is a summary only and you are advised to refer to the actual SQF code documents:
- Five HACCP based Food Safety GFSI SQF Food Safety Codes.
A specific Food Safety Code for Food Retail has been added.
The Food Safety Codes are industry specific and aligns to the former level 2 SQF Certification.
The sector categories covered by the 5 different codes remain largely the same as edition 7. ( some minor definitions and inclusion changes )
The 5 Food Safety Codes (GFSI)
The structure of the codes remain the same with Part A guiding implementing & Maintaining SQF, with Part B being the auditable standard, containing the system elements.
- SQF Quality Code.
Separate, optional quality audit yielding separate SQF Quality certification. SQF Quality Audit is not scored and does not link to Food Standards Code audit score.
Sites seeking to attain certification to the SQF Quality Code, or retain what was previously SQF Level 3 certification in edition 7, shall first be certified to the applicable SQF Food Safety Code for their industry sector. ( Primary Production, Manufacturing, Storage & Distribution, Food Packaging).
The certification audit can either be:
- An extension of an existing certification or re-certification audit to the SQF Food Safety Code. Certification to the SQF Quality Code shall only be granted on successful certification the applicable SQF Food Safety Code;
-A stand-alone audit conducted at any time during the currency of the site’s certification to the SQF Food Safety Code.
The SQF Quality Code requires that every site has a suitably qualified SQF quality practitioner, who is responsible for food quality plans and process controls. The SQF quality practitioner must be competent in statistical process control and/or other quality tools to reduce process variation and drive root cause analysis of non-conformities .Businesses must develop and implement documented quality procedures ( minimum 2 months of records available at audit).
SQF Quality Code ( part B ) is the auditable requirements for SQF Quality certification.
2.1 Management Commitment. (incl Quality Policy, Management Responsibility [a quality communication program, quality objectives and quality performance measures, quality performance tracking and benchmarking] , Management Review [Quality system reviews monthly, change management process], Complaint Management, Crisis Management
2.2 Document Control & Records
2.3 Specification and Product Development
2.4 Food Quality Systems ( incl Customer Requirements, Quality Fundamentals,Food Quality Plan, Approved Supplier Program, Non conforming product, Product rework and release)
2.5 Food Quality System verification
2.6 Product Identification, Trace, Withdrawal and Recall
2.7 Food Fraud
2.8 Identity Preserved Foods ( claims)
2.9 Training - including training on process control and monitoring of critical quality points, statistical, product inspection and testing and statistical process control. Instructions for all tasks critical to meeting customer specifications, and quality and process efficiency.
- Corporate Audits
There is the option for Corporate Audits where a site is part of a larger corporation and some food quality functions are conducted at a corporate head office (i.e. an office that does not process or handle products, for the SQF Code elements managed by the corporate office.
Where a corporate audit is conducted, all identified corporate non conformances must be closed out before the site audits are conducted. Any open non-conformances shall be attributed to the site or sites.
- Complaint Management now mandatory in Food Standards Codes 2.1.4*
- Food Defense and Food Fraud 2.7 *
Food Fraud requirements have been strengthened, to include a food fraud vulnerability assessment and food fraud mitigation plan with food fraud controls, to be verified.
- Food Safety Plan 2.4.3*
Encompasses all HACCP related requirements in one section.
- Approved Suppliers 2.4.4*
Inclusion of corporate suppliers
The approved supplier program shall be based on the prior performance of a supplier and the risk.
Supplier audits shall be based on risk assessment.
- Environmental Monitoring 2.4.8*
A risk-based environmental monitoring program shall be documented and implemented for all manufacturers
- Allergen Management 2.8*
A Allergen Management Program is now mandatory for all food manufacturing sites.
The Allergen Management control program must include controls for the accuracy of finished product labels.
- Good Manufacturing Module Practices for Processing of Food Products (module 11)
- Additional requirements for overhead waste water pipes
- lighting in food handling areas should be appropriate intensity
- A procedure for cleaning a body fluid spillage, by trained personnel
- An upgrade of scope audit must be recorded as a ‘Surveillance’ audit
- Opportunities For Improvement have been removed (OIP's)
- Voluntary ‘unannounced’ for every year (annual). Unannounced audits will be noted on the certificate.
- Corrective Action response time has been extended form 14 to now 30 days, for Minor and Major Cars
* Numbers relate to Food Standards Elements for Food Manufacturing.