The methods, responsibility, and criteria for ensuring the effectiveness of all applicable elements of the SQF Program shall be documented, implemented, and effective. The methods applied shall ensure that:
Good Storage and Distribution Practices are confirmed to ensure they achieve the required result;
Critical food safety limits are reviewed annually and re-validated or justified by regulatory standards when changes occur;
Changes to the processes or procedures are assessed to ensure controls are still effective.
Records of all validation activities shall be maintained.
The methods, responsibility, and criteria for verifying monitoring of Good Storage and Distribution Practices, critical control points, and other food safety controls shall be documented and implemented. The methods applied shall ensure that personnel with responsibility for verifying monitoring activities authorize each verified record.
A verification schedule outlining the verification activities, their frequency of completion, and the person responsible for each activity shall be prepared and implemented.
Records of verification of activities shall be maintained.
The responsibility and methods outlining how corrective and preventative actions are determined, implemented, and verified, including identification of the root cause and resolution of non-compliance of critical food safety limits and deviations from food safety requirements, shall be documented and implemented.
Deviations from food safety requirements may include customer complaints, nonconformances raised at internal or external audits and inspections, non-conforming product and equipment, or withdrawals and recalls, as appropriate.
Records of all investigation, root cause analyses and resolution of non-conformities, their corrections, and implementation of preventative actions shall be maintained.
The methods and responsibility for scheduling and conducting internal audits to verify the effectiveness of the SQF System shall be documented and implemented. Internal audits shall be conducted in full and at least annually. The methods applied shall ensure:
All applicable requirements of the SQF Food Safety Code: Storage and Distribution are audited as per the SQF audit checklist or similar tool;
Objective evidence is recorded to verify compliance and/or non-compliance;
Corrective and preventative actions of deficiencies identified during the internal audits are undertaken; and
Audit results are communicated to relevant management personnel and staff responsible for implementing and verifying corrective and preventative actions
Staff conducting internal audits shall be trained and competent in internal audit procedures. Where practical, staff conducting internal audits shall be independent of the function being audited.
Regular inspections of the site and equipment shall be planned and carried out to verify Good Storage and Distribution Practices and facilities and equipment maintenance are compliant with the SQF Food Safety Code: Storage and Distribution. The site shall:
Take corrections or corrective and preventative action; and
Maintain records of inspections and any corrective action taken.
Records of internal audits and inspections and any corrective and preventative actions taken as a result of internal audits shall be recorded as per 2.5.3.
Changes implemented from internal audits that have an impact on the site’s ability to deliver safe food shall require a review of applicable aspects of the SQF System.
Source: River Valley Holdings (Community Member)