In February 2014, The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) announced that new Safe Quality Food Program (SQF) regulations will be rolled out in July 2014 that impact current audit protocols. These regulations are set to take effect soon and it is important to understand how they will affect quality control in the food industry.
A major part of these new regulations is the incorporation of an unannounced audit protocol, putting pressure on organizations to be audit-ready at any time. This development will make SQF the “first internationally accredited third-party assessment program to require unannounced audits,” and will be made possible by a partnership with its Technical Advisory Council. SQFI Senior Vice President Robert Garfield issued a statement explaining the reasoning behind the new regulations; “We made the decision to enhance the rigor of the SQFI program after consulting with numerous stakeholders. We understand that the food industry must respond to and meet the nation’s food safety challenges more rapidly and effectively, which require a more nimble approach to our program.”
While the new audit protocol may seem daunting to those in the food industry, only one out of three annual audits will be unannounced. This is an effort to raise the condition and productivity of food and beverage producers, who the public depends on for the highest safety and quality standards in food.
As technology, trends, and demand shift within the food industry so do the quality standards and regulations that must be met. PQ System is here to provide customers with the tools they need to make sure these regulations are met through our quality control software and training programs. We look forward to seeing how industry output, quality, and safety is improved from these new programs.