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: 2.1.4 Complaint Management


Complaints happen. No matter how close to perfect a system may be, if the quantities are large enough, even the smallest of mistakes will ultimately reach customers. Thankfully, some of them will take the time to let us know.

While it’s easy to see complaints as just a customer service issue, they also reveal the best opportunities to improve our quality system, both by showing where the problems are happening, and how much the customer cares about the defect. Our best systems will look for metrics while we still have control of the product, but when someone takes the time to pick up the phone or write an email, we need to make sure those individuals aren’t revealing larger problems that have escaped our attention.