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Can anyone remove my concern about SQF levels 1, 2, 3?


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#1 Simon

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:48 PM

As far as I’m aware only SQF uses the level system e.g. transitioning from lower requirements through higher level requirements as the business develops its Food Safety Management System. I can see some benefits but also I have a concern that at level 1 no risk assessment / HACCP system is required. How can certification be achieved without the core of the FSMS in place (HACCP). Do customers accept level 1 certification? Surely their own internal supplier approval process requires suppliers to have HACCP and a full food safety and quality management system be in place. Maybe the SQF experts can explain how this works in practice. :dunno:

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#2 DAVE84

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:05 PM

Hey simon,

Level 1 is not recognised level. Level 2 and 3 are the only recognised level by GFSI. Getting Level 1 will not add anything and i guess it will not even accepted by regular customers.

Hope this helps a bit

Dave



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#3 stsqf

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:13 PM

I certainly do not consider myself an expert but I agree that HACCP should be the basis of your pre-requisite programs and the core of your food safety management system. I did a quick search to show some numbers of certifications at each level worldwide and this is what I found (includes all product categories):

Level 1 Certifications - 21
Level 2 Certifications - 905
Level 3 Certifications - 1870

https://sqfi.muddybo...z/Level1Report/

So from that, I am guessing customers do not typically accept Level 1 - but for a company that didn't have much (if anything) in place prior it is a start I suppose. However once the Food Safety Modernization Act is fully implemented, Level 1 would no longer apply as HACCP will be required for all manufacturers.



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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 07:37 AM

dear Simon,

The level 1 option is maybe analogous to a more(?) comprehensive version of "Hygiene-based" Certificates issued by various companies for which there does appear to be a viable market. i noted that many of the detailed specification requirements of higher levels are still maintained, including microbiological limits and "Verification" ;) (but not Validation or Product sampling viv-a-vis 4.5.4).

A large part of Food Safety relies on correct implementation of Hygiene / GMP (typically no explicit risk analysis although i predict one can find implicit terms pointing to prioritisation here and there.)

Slightly OT - Was food really that unsafe to eat prior to HACCP ? ie has the safety benefit derived from HACCP been (generally) quantified ? (an equivalent question was put, and i believe negatively concluded, for ISO 9001?)

Any answer will probably depend on the precise food type of course, eg i guess the spacefaring clientele are not eating steak tartare too frequently. Then again, different nationalities may have their own risk criteria. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


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#5 Simon

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 06:45 PM

Thanks for claifying, so level 1 is/will become obsolete. My concern is removed. :smile:

Slightly OT - Was food really that unsafe to eat prior to HACCP ? ie has the safety benefit derived from HACCP been (generally) quantified ? (an equivalent question was put, and i believe negatively concluded, for ISO 9001?)

Good OT though Charles, maybe worthy of its own topic. My answer would be HACCP makes food safer, just like risk assessment in health and safety makes work safer. Risk assessment makes you think about processes to a much deeper level and that time, care and effort invested is in itself very valuable IMHO.

Regards,
Simon

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#6 Antores

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 03:22 PM

Well, Dave84 already answer your question; level 1 is not even GFSi recognized, so if your customers are asking for GSFi standard, Level one does not qualify. In fact, Level 3 is not in the GFSi scope neither since it relates only to Quality, and not Food Safety. The question now is, what would your customers require? Level 2 would be the answer for must.

We need to understand this is a global benchmark, and tools that are almost standard in some operations/countries, such as HACCP, may still not be regular part in other places, especially for simple operations such as non-processed fresh produce. This give the opportunity for those operations to start with the basic pre-requites, after all, we do not need a Risk Assessment and a HACCP program to realize that employees shall wash their hands right?



#7 Tony-C

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:04 AM

SQF Level 1 Food Safety Fundamentals: Indicates that Pre-requisite Programs and fundamental food safety controls have been implemented to provide a sound foundation for the further development of the Supplier’s management system.

It is only appropriate for low risk products and it is difficult to see the value in it apart from as a stepping stone to level 2.



#8 Simon

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:50 PM

I suppose you have to start somewhere and we have to be realistic and recognize that some are just starting out with Food Safety Management Systems. Whether they should be allowed to supply without a proper system in place is a different question. I understand SQF levels now, thanks all.

Regards,
Simon


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