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what_is_gfsi_certification-01-1GFSI unifies and validates food safety standards such as BRCGS, IFS, FSSC 22000, and SQF, ensuring consistent and credible practices across the global food industry.






Questions? Whether it's about compliance, quality control, safety standards, sustainability, or any related topic, feel free to reach out.







ASI can assist your company in achieving SQF certification through expert consultation, comprehensive gap analysis, and tailored implementation strategies aligned with SQF standards. 



That's why major retailers like Whole Foods, Target and Wal-Mart are requiring their suppliers to be SQF certified, which means that they meet a set of requirements for product safety.

If you want to sell your products in these stores or anywhere else in the world, it's important to have an audit done on your business by a third-party auditor who is qualified to assess your processes and procedures.



SQF, or Safe Quality Food, is a comprehensive assessment of a food manufacturing or processing facility's adherence to food safety and quality standards. It evaluates practices, processes, and documentation to ensure the production of safe and high-quality food products.

Achieving and maintaining SQF certification is crucial for food businesses seeking to meet regulatory requirements, enhance consumer trust, and access broader markets. Learn more about SQF audits and their significance for your food-related enterprise on our website.



ASI doesn't just provide services; we create partnerships. We're committed to your success and your journey towards SQF certification. With ASI by your side, you're not just meeting a certification standard; you're embracing a culture of excellence.

Make the choice that reflects your commitment to food safety and quality. Choose ASI as your trusted partner on the road to SQF certification. Your success is our mission, and together, we'll build a safer, more prosperous food future.



ASI Food Safety can support in preparation for SQF certification in several ways:

Expert Guidance They provide expert consultation and guidance on understanding SQF requirements specific to your industry sector, helping you comprehend the standards and necessary steps.  
Gap Analysis ASI Food Safety conducts a thorough gap analysis of your current food safety management system against SQF standards, identifying areas needing improvement.  
Customized Solutions They offer tailored strategies and solutions to align your existing procedures, policies, and protocols with SQF standards.  
Training Services ASI Food Safety provides training and educational resources for your team, ensuring they understand and implement necessary changes effectively.  
Documentation Support Assistance in developing required documentation and records aligned with SQF standards, ensuring completeness and accuracy.  
Pre-assessment Support ASI can conduct mock audits or pre-assessments to gauge readiness for the official SQF certification audit, identifying any remaining gaps for correction beforehand.  


Contact ASI today and let's take the first step towards SQF Certification. 


The process of obtaining Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification typically involves several key steps:


Download, your FOOD SAFETY CODE below, and understand SQF requirements

Create and implement procedures meeting SQF standards
Conduct a mock audit and review documentation
Undergo certification audit by ASI



  1. Understand the SQF Code:

    • Familiarize yourself with the SQF Code, which outlines the specific requirements for food safety and quality.
    • Determine the specific SQF Code edition that applies to your industry, such as food manufacturing, packaging, distribution, or storage.
  2. Appoint an SQF Team:

    • Designate a dedicated team responsible for SQF audit preparation.
    • Include individuals from various departments, such as quality assurance, production, and documentation.
  3. Conduct a Gap Analysis:

    • Perform a gap analysis to identify areas where your current practices and documentation may not meet SQF requirements.
    • Address and close these gaps before the audit.
  4. Document Your System:

    • Create a comprehensive food safety and quality management system, including policies, procedures, and work instructions.
    • Maintain accurate and up-to-date documentation of all aspects of your operation.
  5. Employee Training:

    • Ensure that all employees receive proper training on food safety and quality procedures and standards.
    • Keep training records up-to-date and easily accessible.
  6. Facility and Equipment Maintenance:

    • Regularly maintain facilities and equipment to ensure they meet SQF standards for cleanliness and safety.
    • Address maintenance issues promptly.
  7. Supplier and Ingredient Verification:

    • Verify the compliance of your suppliers and the safety of your ingredients.
    • Maintain records of supplier evaluations, ingredient testing, and certifications.
  8. Mock Audits:

    • Conduct mock audits or self-inspections to simulate the real audit process.
    • Use the results to identify and address potential issues.
  9. Pre-Audit Checklist:

    • Develop a checklist that covers all SQF requirements to ensure nothing is missed during the audit preparation.
  10. Auditor Training:

    • Ensure your SQF team is well-prepared for the auditor's questions and requests.
    • Familiarize your team with the audit process and expectations.
  11. Schedule the Audit:

    • Coordinate with the audit team and schedule the SQF audit with a recognized certification body.
    • Ensure you have a clear understanding of the audit scope and objectives.
  12. Be Prepared on Audit Day:

    • On the day of the audit, have all relevant personnel available and ready to cooperate with the auditor.
    • Be transparent and responsive during the audit.
  13. Post-Audit Actions:

    • After the audit, address any findings or recommendations made by the auditor promptly.
    • Develop a corrective action plan if necessary and implement improvements.

Proper preparation is essential to a successful SQF audit, ensuring that your food safety and quality management system complies with the SQF Code and that the audit process proceeds smoothly.

  • TIME
  • COST

How Long Does the SQF Certification Process Take?

The duration of the SQF (Safe Quality Food) certification process can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of your food business, and your current level of food safety preparedness, Here's a general idea of the time it might take:

  1. Preparation Time: Before scheduling an audit, you'll need time to develop and implement your Food Safety Plan, train your staff, and get all necessary documentation in order. This preparation period can vary but typically takes several months.

  2. Audit Duration: The actual SQF audit conducted by a certification body can take a few days to a week, depending on the complexity of your operation.

  3. Audit Report Review: After the audit, there is a review period during which the certification body assesses your audit results and compliance with SQF standards. This can take a few weeks.

  4. Corrective Actions: If any non-compliances are identified during the audit, you'll need time to address them through corrective actions. The duration of this process depends on the nature and number of non-compliances.

  5. Certification Decision: Once your corrective actions are verified and accepted, you'll receive your SQF certification. The time for this step can vary but usually takes several weeks.

  6. Annual Audits: After obtaining initial certification, you'll need to undergo annual audits to maintain your SQF certification.

In total, the process can take several months from the initial preparation to the point where you receive your SQF certification. It's important to work closely with your chosen certification body and follow their guidance to ensure a smooth and timely certification process. The exact timeline can be influenced by the factors mentioned earlier, as well as the efficiency of your preparations and the responsiveness to any non-compliances identified during the audit.

The cost of an SQF audit can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Size and complexity of your facility: Larger facilities with more complex operations will generally incur higher audit costs.
  • Scope of the audit: Are you going for full SQF certification, or just a specific SQF module (e.g., food safety, quality)?
  • Location of your facility: Travel expenses for the auditor can add to the cost, especially if your facility is located far from the auditor's base.
  • Experience and qualifications of the auditor: More experienced auditors may charge higher fees.

Here are some general ranges for SQF audit costs:

    • Typical two-day recertification audit: $4,500 - $6,000, excluding travel expenses.
    • Typical initial certification audit: $6,000 - $10,000, excluding travel expenses.
    • Documentation development: $40,000 is considered high, but off-the-shelf templates with technical support can be much cheaper, ranging around $20,000. 

Here are some resources to help you get a more specific estimate for your SQF audit:

    • SQFI website: The SQFI website has a "Get a Quote" function where you can enter information about your facility and receive an estimate for your SQF audit.
    • SQFI-licensed certification bodies: Contact several SQFI-licensed certification bodies for quotes. Be sure to ask about their experience, qualifications, and rates.
    • Industry forums and associations: You can also find information about SQF audit costs on industry forums and associations.

It's important to get quotes from multiple providers before making a decision. Be sure to ask about the scope of the audit, the auditor's qualifications, and the estimated timeline for completion.

What is SQF Certification?

SQF stands for Safe Quality Food, and it is a globally recognized food safety and quality management certification system. SQF certification is administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) and is designed to ensure that food products meet stringent safety and quality standards throughout the supply chain. The SQF program provides a framework for food manufacturers and suppliers to implement and maintain comprehensive food safety and quality management systems.

Key components of SQF certification include:

  1. Food Safety: SQF certification emphasizes food safety, including measures to prevent foodborne illnesses and contamination. This involves rigorous adherence to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

  2. Quality: SQF also focuses on product quality, ensuring that food products meet established quality standards and specifications.

  3. Supplier and Vendor Management: SQF requires comprehensive oversight of suppliers and vendors, ensuring that they also meet food safety and quality standards.

  4. Documentation and Record Keeping: Stringent documentation and record-keeping requirements are integral to SQF certification, enabling traceability and accountability in the event of safety or quality issues.

  5. Training and Education: SQF certification encourages ongoing training and education for employees, fostering a culture of food safety and quality within the organization.

  6. Compliance with Regulatory Requirements: SQF is designed to align with international food safety standards and regulations, ensuring that certified facilities meet or exceed legal requirements.

  7. Continuous Improvement: SQF is a dynamic system that promotes continuous improvement and adaptation to changing industry practices and emerging food safety risks.

SQF certification is sought after by food manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers to demonstrate their commitment to producing safe, high-quality food products. Achieving SQF certification can also open doors to new markets, strengthen supplier relationships, and improve consumer trust.

All consulting services are offered through ASI Training and Consulting, LLC. All activity is conducted separately from our accredited certification body, ASI Food Safety, LLC, in order to safeguard against any conflicts of interest.