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SQF Level 2 to SQF Level 3

SQF Level 2 Level 3

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#1 psunjka

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 06:58 PM

Hi there just wanted to hear other people experience from passing from SQF L2 to SQF L3. So far I heard various opinions: from extremely easy ("You just add a few documents...") to the honest opinion that we will be butchered at the audit... What is your general impression?  Another question: if we fail SQF L3 audit (God forbid), do we keep our SQF L2? Do we have to schedule an SFQ L2 audit?

Thanks



#2 fgjuadi

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:12 AM

I'm also super interested in this.  We have a "sister" company with a raging maggot twerp of a QA Manager who is obsessed with mis interpreting the SQF code (No phermone traps - she told me they were POISON, and I, as a chemist with her pest control liscense, had to disagree :eek_yello: . She thinks my supervisors and managers can't understand leadership level quality training because they have an accent :thumbdown: ! She told them to cover open pipes with plastic baggies :eek_yello: ! She told me tracking lot numbers for food contact packaging was too detailed :eek_yello:.  She told me not to include Eggs in my allergen program as we only have one product with Eggs  :blahblah: ) , and is going for a lvl 2.  </end complain fest>

 

If I get SQF certified, I want it to be level 3 (I have a sensory program, I calibrate quipment related to quality, etc).  So far the difference I see are minor, or require you to do things I want to do anyway (control quality as well as food safety).  Some of the differences seem easy - a HACCP Manager who is trained (lvl 2) and a HACCP manager who is trained AND competent (lvl 3).    I dream of level 3, soley to spite her and I will make an ass ton of work for myself to "win" the most awesome war we have.  I mean the business friendly healthy competition we have.

 

  On the other hand, some of the differences like including Sensory in your release program would cost a ton of non conformances and be almost impossible with our space for a hold area and production window with a made to order product. Separation of functions with the small size of our team will be difficult.  Even investing money in basic QA Equpiment (moisture analyzer, ph meter, refractometer, etc) is going to be costly on my budget.  But those seem like things I need for SQF lvl 2 regardless, so ?  I prefer FSSC22000 cuz that's how I was "raised", and that considers quality, so how far off can SQF lvl 3 be? 

 

I know absolutely nothing about this - please save me (and maybe psunjka) from embarking on an impossible journey of achivement and success.   Or tell us to go for it and support us.  Mmmmm, delicious level 3.... :drool:


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#3 Pizza&Sandwich

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:06 PM

When we had our SQF lvl 2 audit in February the auditor said there was a 10 question difference between the two. He also said that because our plant doesn't make any Identity Preserved Foods (ie: Kosher, Halal, Gluten-free, etc.) that lvl 3 would be much easier. I too am curious as to the actual difference between the two. I know for lvl 3 you have to have a quality plan based off of the principles of haccp (but for quality aspects).

 

Someone, please shine a light! :helpplease:



#4 esquef

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:40 PM

This is a complicated subject because it involves so many variables:

 

- Are you a high or low risk producer?

- How many SKU's are produced?

- How many customers do you have?

- How many suppliers do you have?

- How many raw materials do you purchase (or if a co-man how many are purchased for you)?

- How much of your testing is for food quality and not food safety?

- Do do your own R&D?

- How many 'identity preserved' categories does your company produce?

etc.

 

All of these factor into the decision to go for Level 2 or Level 3. In general my belief is that assuming you don't have a significant demand for your company to be Level 3 certified and your business model is complex go for Level 2. You can always ramp it up to Level 3 at a future recertification.

 

Here's something I posted a while ago here on the IFSQN that compares the 12 step HACCP plan to a 12 step HACCP-based quality plan:

 

       HACCP for Food Safety                                                                   HACCP for Food Quality

 

1) Assemble the HACCP Team                                            1) Assemble the Food Quality Plan Development Team

2) Describe the product                                                         2) Prepare the product specification

3) Identify intended use                                                         3) Identify intended use (as per FSP)

4) Construct flow diagram                                                     4) Construct flow diagram (as per FSP)

5) On-site verification of flow diagram (food saftey               5) Onsite verification of flow diagram

6) List all potential food safety hazards                                 6) List all potential food quality threats

    - Construct hazard analysis                                                      - Construct threat analysis

    - Determine control measures                                                  - Determine control measures

7) Deterine CCP's                                                                  7) Determine CQP's (Critical Quality Points)

8) Establish critical limits for each CCP                                 8) Establish critical limits for each CQP

9) Establish a monitoring system for each CCP                    9) Establish a monitoring system for each CQP

10) Establish corrective actions                                             10) Establish corrective actions

11) Establish verification procedures                                     11) Establish verification procedures

12) Establish record keeping and documentation procedures  12) Establish record keeping and doc procedures


Edited by esquef, 18 March 2014 - 05:04 PM.


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#5 psunjka

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:04 PM

Thank you esquef (love the name) for the input. My question was more targeted to people that went from L2 to L3, their experiences, what we can expect. My place is already L2 certified for a couple of years, and we have a relatively young quality team that has no experience with L3 so far.



#6 Kellio

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:29 PM

If I reading your comment correctly. You can not switch from SQF L2 to SQF L3 freely. If you are SQF L2 going to SQF L3 you have to schedule a desktop audit first to prepare you to SQF Level 3 Audit. If you fail the SQF L3 you will lose certification and you do not get to keep your SQF L2 current certification and you will have to start the process all over as a new comer into the SQF Certification scheme. I will strongly recommend to stick to SQF L2 until the need to have a Quality Scheme is requested by a customer.  SQF L3 is not well accepted as a Quality Scheme like ISO 9001. You will be better off going into ISO 9001 for Quality. Remember, the only SQF Scheme accepted in GFSI  is SQF Level 2. SQF Level 3 is not recognized. We just passed our SQF Audit 4 weeks ago and we asked these questions. Also, your best bet is to verify all this information with your CB.

 

I hope this helps.



#7 Pizza&Sandwich

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:44 PM

Remember, the only SQF Scheme accepted in GFSI  is SQF Level 2. SQF Level 3 is not recognized.

 

From SQF Code 7.2 page 1:

First developed in Australia in 1994, the SQF program has been owned and managed by the Food Marketing Institute

(FMI) since 2003, and was recognized (at level 2) in 2004 by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)* as a standard

that meets its benchmark requirements. The SQF Code level 3 exceeds the requirements of the GFSI benchmark

documents.



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#8 HappyCoin

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:52 PM

We recently made the move from Level 2 to Level 3.  The Quality Plan is the big document that you need, however also go through all of your other documents and make sure that they cover both Food Safety & Food Quality not just food safety (level 2).  The Level 3 desk audit was performed during the same time as facility audit.  We went from a 2 day audit to 3 day audit to incorporate the desk audit. 



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#9 Setanta

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:59 PM

From SQF Code 7.2 page 1:

First developed in Australia in 1994, the SQF program has been owned and managed by the Food Marketing Institute

(FMI) since 2003, and was recognized (at level 2) in 2004 by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)* as a standard

that meets its benchmark requirements. The SQF Code level 3 exceeds the requirements of the GFSI benchmark

documents.

This is probably splitting hairs, but exceeding the standards and having them be recognized are not the same thing.

 

Setanta


-Setanta         

 

 

 


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#10 Kellio

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:52 PM

This is probably splitting hairs, but exceeding the standards and having them be recognized are not the same thing.

 

Setanta

 

:spoton:  :spoton:  :spoton:



#11 SQFconsultant

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:04 PM

Wow, now there's an an interesting statement.... " raging maggot twerp of a QA Manager." Whew, that's something!


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800-793-7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation, Certification and Continuity eConsultants 
Internal Auditor Training | CV Fallout Recovery for Food Companies | Long-Term eConsultant
Serving the American Republic, Centro America and Caribbean Islands

http://www.GlennOster.com

 

Celebrating 13 Years in our SQF Consulting business - Influenced by two & blessed by one!

Read about it here: https://glennosterco...m/ogfc/goc-news


#12 jenky

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:09 PM

MM - your post had me in stitches!  :roflmao:

 

Seriously, this topic is a great one.  I am reminded of my intial SQF Practitioner training course.  Our trainer said that you do SQF Level 2 because your customers demand it.  You do Level 3 for yourselves - because you see the value in improving your systems and extending the philosophy and practices in SQF to other aspects of your business, beyond food safety.  We are headed down that path, not there yet,  so I too am interested in hearing perspectives from those that made the leap from l2 to l3.



#13 SQFconsultant

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

It's easy to do a side by side comparison between L2 and L3, just review the new 7.2 Code.  We are finding a number of our clients are being asked by customers to make the transition from L2 to L3 now.  Thus, it shall be a busy year for us.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800-793-7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation, Certification and Continuity eConsultants 
Internal Auditor Training | CV Fallout Recovery for Food Companies | Long-Term eConsultant
Serving the American Republic, Centro America and Caribbean Islands

http://www.GlennOster.com

 

Celebrating 13 Years in our SQF Consulting business - Influenced by two & blessed by one!

Read about it here: https://glennosterco...m/ogfc/goc-news


#14 fgjuadi

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:59 AM

Wow, now there's an an interesting statement.... " raging maggot twerp of a QA Manager." Whew, that's something!

Yes, I think we can all be grateful for the grace and style the curse word filter adds to my posts.  It's amazing to see the ways factory/floor talk can both degrade and expand your vocabulary :shades:  She's terrible though. 

 

As one of my favorite drag queens :mwah: once said, I may talk like a sailor, but you are what you eat.


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#15 fgjuadi

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:11 AM

I decided to let my HACCP team decide - When we review the flow diagram for the first time, I'm going to ask if we want to think about Food Safety OR Quality & Food Safety, and let them decide. 

God I want them to say Quality sooooo bad!


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#16 psunjka

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

I thank everybody for their meaningful and colourful contribution to this topic. This is not to say that the topic is closed, feel free to add your input. I will definitely add mine after our SQF L3 audit in September.


Edited by psunjka, 28 March 2014 - 01:00 PM.


#17 Keya

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 04:31 PM

Hello,

 

Even we are currently looking at shifting from level 2 to level 3... I was looking into the identity preserved foods section applicable to level 3.

 

We are a small flavor/ ingredient manufacturing company, I was looking to see if natural flavors are also considered to be identity preserved foods?

 

Thanks,



#18 fgjuadi

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 03:32 PM

Hello,

 

Even we are currently looking at shifting from level 2 to level 3... I was looking into the identity preserved foods section applicable to level 3.

 

We are a small flavor/ ingredient manufacturing company, I was looking to see if natural flavors are also considered to be identity preserved foods?

 

Thanks,

"Natural" isn't a standard or certification, and I've never heard of it being considered an IP food.  But let me ask you this - if you mixed your natural flavor with something in the factory that was not natural, would it loose the identity of being "natural"? Would the "natural" claim on the label still be valid?  Your logic is correct; you need some way to separate those in the factory.   But it seems like you're opening yourself up to auditor scrutiny when there is no need to do so.


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#19 Keya

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:00 PM

Hello,

 

Yes I was almost sure natural flavors will not be considered as an IP food.. but since this was the first time my company is switching from level 2 to level 3.. I wanted to get this doubt cleared off my head... I will stick to claiming only kosher and organic as IP foods for my company. Will go from there..

 

Thank you.



#20 psunjka

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:18 PM

Thank you all for the input, just wanted to toot our horn and say that we successfully passed SQF L3 audit.  Regarding natural claim, we have a few codes that we claim as "Natural" and we even got the USDA approval to use this claim, but the auditor was not very interested in this as not being the IP.



#21 RG3

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 12:42 AM

If I reading your comment correctly. You can not switch from SQF L2 to SQF L3 freely. If you are SQF L2 going to SQF L3 you have to schedule a desktop audit first to prepare you to SQF Level 3 Audit. If you fail the SQF L3 you will lose certification and you do not get to keep your SQF L2 current certification and you will have to start the process all over as a new comer into the SQF Certification scheme. I will strongly recommend to stick to SQF L2 until the need to have a Quality Scheme is requested by a customer.  SQF L3 is not well accepted as a Quality Scheme like ISO 9001. You will be better off going into ISO 9001 for Quality. Remember, the only SQF Scheme accepted in GFSI  is SQF Level 2. SQF Level 3 is not recognized. We just passed our SQF Audit 4 weeks ago and we asked these questions. Also, your best bet is to verify all this information with your CB.

 

I hope this helps.

This is straight from the SQFI site:

Is a supplier required to undergo a full document audit when moving from level 2 to level 3?

A document (or desk) audit is only required for the supplier’s initial certification audit, irrespective of level. A separate document audit is not required if the supplier chooses to progresses from level 1 to level 2, or from level 2 to level 3. Similarly, a separate desk audit is not required when the supplier changes product or process scope. Suppliers moving to a different level (e.g. from level 2 to level 3 or from level 3 to level 2) must wait until their next re-certification audit date.

When a supplier changes scope, including level, and in fact at all recertification audits and surveillance audits, changes to documentation shall be reviewed as part of the facility audit.







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