I’m doing an article series over at IFSQN called “SQF from Scratch!”


This blog series is a deep dive into each individual SQF element. Not just what the code says but what’s actually being asked, how it makes our products safer, and how that element looks in practice both inside and outside the audit. Personnel new to SQF seeking implementation and those reviewing existing systems should both benefit from a methodical study of each element, and how we can truly embrace the code and share it with internal and external customers.

Remember, the goal is not “Audit ready 365”, it’s to know that our facility embraces globally recognized best practices to maintain food safety. Because of this, as we dive into each element, we must always remember the quality management system golden rule: Never make systems to “pass audits”. Make systems that work for your company that help it make safer/higher quality products more efficiently.

Check out the newest post: SQF from scratch: 2.1.3 Management Review


These first few elements established the relationship site management needs to have with the food safety system. SQF is not just an exercise for the practitioner.

First, we had management identify that food safety is part of our business mission, not just something we have to do.

Then, we made them put their money where their mouth is by designating an SQF practitioner and showing employees how the top levels of the company are ultimately responsible for that mission.

Now, we need to make sure that long after we’ve created these policies, the people in charge are going to receive the information needed to uphold that responsibility every day, long after we’ve attained certification. We’re also going to make sure that this system stays alive, and doesn’t become a binder on the shelf that just gets whipped out when the auditor arrives, and no one at the company has any idea what’s inside.