Weighing The Food Safety Certification Options in 2022

What is food safety certification?

Food Safety certification goes beyond the basic regulatory requirements, both in the local manufacturing country and intended country of sale. Of course, the basis of all human food sales is all food must be safe for human consumption.

Food Safety certification is typically a voluntary certification program established, to ensure that food manufacturers follow certain standards and requirements in the food industry. The purpose is to keep consumer safety and food distribution practices safe.

Common food safety certification include the basic Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), HACCP certification, Globally-Recognized Food Safety Initiatives Scheme such as the Safe Quality Foods certification, BRC certification, FSSC 22000 certification, Primus GFS, Canada Gap, etc.

Do you need food safety certification?

Perhaps the most important question that you have is do you need a food safety certification? If you are looking at expanding your market, you should consider getting ready for a food safety certification audit.

Food Safety Certification Now or Later?

We got your question! Do we want to do the certification now or later? How soon should you get started? Here is our recommendation:

Even if you are not looking towards a food safety certification, we highly recommend that you have a working food safety management system.

Food safety management systems help with

  • Keeping your food safe (reduce withdrawal/recall)
  • Build a food safety culture (smooth food operations)
  • Ensure you meet regulatory requirements
  • Build consumer trust

What and How to Choose Food Safety Certification?

Not all food safety certifications are equal. The best way to choose food safety certification is to choose the one that works best for you and your customers. Some food safety certifications are built for the specific industry. For example, Canada Gap and Primus GFS are built for the produce industry.  FSSC 22000 certifications are better known in Asia, BRC certifications are mostly concentrated in Europe and SQF are mostly used for North America.

The question is, what works best for you? Best for your customer?

How do I get started?

The first step to food safety certification is to build and implement a food safety management system. Here are the few steps that you must take to build and implement your food safety management system.

  1. Build basic GMP and HACCP programs -fundamental regardless of what GFSI scheme you choose.
    1. Build Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for each GMP and HACCP element -Use in-house food safety experts or food safety consultants.
    2. Use our SFPM template to build an SOP that meets GMP and HACCP expectations.
  2. Implement the GMP and HACCP programs through employee training, monitoring and verification
  3. Choose your GFSI scheme.
  4. Add additional GFSI requirements about your chosen scheme. Repeat the program development and implement above
  5. Maintain food safety programs that you develop

If you are new to this, we recommend you choose a GFSI scheme rather than building it at a later stage because it takes more work for the review and implementation stage. Especially to inform and train employees about the changes when they are already used to the basic GMP and HACCP requirements.

Besides, not many upgrades need to go from HACCP requirements to GFSI requirements.

Don’t Get Blinded! Get Assistance with Planning Your Food Safety Certification

There is a reason why our client calls us saints when it comes to building strategy for their food safety management system. We pride ourselves on building workable food safety management systems, and we love to encourage you to book a complimentary Strategy Call with us.

We build the strategy, you decide your path.

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