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FLEXO Magazine : April 2013
Plants & Processes SQF Certification: One Printer’s Journey Prairie state Group reaps Benefits From conforming to Food Manufacturing standards By cayleigh nichols So, like me, your customer is requesting—more like demanding—you become Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified. What does this even mean? What is SQF and how is this relevant to a printer? Why is this important? How is any printer going to go about doing this? At Prairie State Group, we had these and more questions. And on a personal level, I found myself asking, “Why did this land on my desk?” PATH TO CERTIFICATION • The push for direct food contact packaging to conform with SQF standard is relatively new • When a printer/converter is going for SQF certification, two modules are relevant - Module 2 is called “SQF System Elements” - Module 13 is called “Food Safety Fundamentals- - Good Manufacturing Practices for Production of Food Packaging” • Match your documents (paragraphs and even sentences) to exact numbers in the code and it will make your life a lot easier when it comes time for the audit • Required documentation can be understood and prepared with a consultant’s help • The most difficult task: applying code written for a food handler to a packaging, printing and converting operation • Training in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points is required • Time and dedication is required to implement SQF procedures, which represent a huge culture shift for any enterprise 16 FLEXO aPril 2013 www.flexography.org everything has to be neatly organized, labeled and logically positioned on the press side service cart. all lubricants must be changed to food grade in order to secure sQF certification.