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    How To Guide: Edition 9 Guidance Documents

      The purpose of the SQF Guidance Document series is to assist sites with designing, developing, documenting, implementing, and maintaining an SQF Food Safety System using the SQF Food Safety or Quality Codes.

    The guidance documents are topic-specific and provide direction on the intent of the Code requirements identified within the document. This encourages the user to look at the Code requirements as programs supporting a systems approach versus a checklist approach. Topic focused guidance also allows SQF to be more flexible and timelier in developing new guidance for additional system elements or emerging issues.

    Guidance is intended to support the SQF Codes but does not replace it. It is not an auditable document, nor is it definitive and applicable in every situation. Sites, consultants, trainers, and auditors are required to understand the risks in a given industry sector and are able to apply the intent of the SQF Codes to effectively control those risks.



    How to Use the SQF Guidance Documents  


    The guidance is to be used as a resource to better understand and interpret the SQF Code requirements. The guides should be used as an evolving tool with the user updating knowledge with additional learnings, industry guidance, and relevant information to a particular industry scope  


    The guidance can be used as an interpretation guide, internal audit tool, enhancement of in-house training, and supplement for external training. 


    Format of the SQF Guidance Documents  



    • Definition. Typically, the definition will be from the SQF Code Glossary found in Appendix 2.  
    • Applicable Code of Requirements. Reference to the SQF Code requirements that are impacted by and affect the topic. The SQF Code requirements are inter-related, and this section identifies those Code requirements that are relevant to the topic. 
    • Review Glossary Terms. The SQF Code Glossary found in Appendix 2 is a helpful resource in understanding the Code terminology.
    • Implementation & Audit Guidance. This section will include the interpretive comments and include suggestions of what could be done by the site to document and implement this topic. This information is not considered exhaustive and may not apply in every situation. It is meant to provide guidance and interpretation.
    • RIO Road to Audits (Records, Interviews and Observations). Included in this section is a table that outlines the records, interviews, and observations that would assist in preparing, implementing, and reviewing the SQF Code topic. This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a working document by the user (e.g., site, auditor, consultant, trainer) as they move through their safety food journey.
    • Additional References. Links to books, websites, documents, templates, webinars, etc. are included in this section to provide additional resources on the topic. It is by no means an official or exhaustive list.

    To learn more visit SQF Guidance, Tip Sheets and Checklists

    How to Guide

    Ambient Air Testing

    Approved Supplier Program

    Contract Manufacturers

    Corrective and Preventative Actions

    Food Defense

    Food Fraud

    Food Safety Culture

    Internal Audit

    Label Reconciliation

    Medical Screening

    Risk Assessment

    Product Identification

    Product Sampling, Inspection, and Analysis

    Product Withdrawal and Recall

    Proficiency Testing

    Root Cause Analysis

    SQF Practitioner and Substitute Practitioner













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