A building where food safety team leaders are trained for FSSC 2200

Cynthia Weber

Director of Food Safety Training and Curriculum

SQF and FDA: How Do They Relate & Intersect With Compliance?

Oct 24, 2012

If one is compliant with SQF, is it safe to say that one is also compliant with the FDA?

Not necessarily. The requirements emphasize different aspects. The FDA is regulatory, the SQF code emphasizes food safety management. SQF does require that you comply with all applicable regulations, such as FDA. So a certified company is expected to comply with all relevant requirements as part of the Certification.

How do you know which regulations are not included in the SQF Code?

The SQF code does not actually contain FDA requirements.   Think of the SQF code and the regulations that apply to your organization as separate things.. identify all the requirements that apply, and then build your SQF system as well. The SQF emphasizes process management to manage food safety issues that can be used by many different industries, not specific regulatory requirements that can vary by industry and country.

How does SQF compare to the new FSMA requirements?

SQF includes processes that address many of the aspects of the FSMA requirements that are being proposed and implemented.

The SQF (Safe Quality Food) standard and FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) both aim to enhance food safety, but they differ in scope and approach. The SQF standard is a globally recognized certification scheme that focuses on food safety and quality management across the entire supply chain. It includes various levels of certification, ensuring comprehensive food safety practices and quality management systems.

On the other hand, FSMA is a U.S. regulatory framework introduced by the FDA to shift the focus of food safety from reactive to preventive measures. FSMA mandates that food facilities implement risk-based preventive controls, conduct hazard analyses, and establish food safety plans.

While SQF certification can help businesses meet FSMA requirements, FSMA compliance is a legal obligation for food facilities operating in the U.S. Unlike SQF, which is a voluntary certification providing market advantages, FSMA compliance is mandatory and enforced by regulatory authorities.


Cynthia Weber

Director of Food Safety Training and Curriculum

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