Safe Quality Food
Maryland Packaging is an SQF-certified food co-manufacturing and co-packaging facility.
During our last unannounced audit in August 2017, we received an SQF score of 98/100.
What is SQF?
SQF stands for Safe Quality Food standard. SQF is a third-party, non-government affiliated organization that evaluates and improves the food safety processes of manufacturers all across the country.
This is an organization that evolved from the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that arose in 2000 after a series of highly-public food-borne illness outbreaks.
These outbreaks prompted a meeting of many corporations world-wide to devise new strategies to ensure food safety and quality.
These new standards go above and beyond simple legal requirements. Businesses wanted a way to protect themselves from these costly, image-destroying outbreaks in the future.
They got together and set a new standard that would reduce or eliminate many of the risks to our food supply chain at every step of the food production process.
This increased management and awareness protects:
By getting ahead of potential problems before they happen, the food industry reduces the amount of recalls needed, and increases consumer trust. It’s a situation where everybody wins.
Do Food Businesses Need to be SQF Compliant?
Legally, no. Practically, yes.
When selling food commercially, you’re required to meet FDA, USDA, state, and local food safety regulations, but not SQF.
That said, most food producers want to create their products out of an SQF-certified facility because it will:
- Widen your distribution options
- Decrease the risk of food contamination
Many retailers won’t so much as look at your product unless it meets these standards – regardless of the legal status of your food. This added layer of protection (afforded by strict food safety standards) helps protect both you and the distributor from disastrous outbreaks that can cripple a business both financially and legally.
So – do you technically need SQF certification? No.
Is it a really good idea for maintaining and growing your business? Absolutely.