Interpreting audit abbreviations
May 10, 2016
by Laurie Gorton
processors and their customers have a broad array of audit and inspection
protocols at their disposal. The type of audit or inspection they select is
usually market driven.
IFS, FSSC 22000 and SQF are internationally recognized food safety audit
schemes by GFSI. ISO 22000 is a global food safety standard introduced in 2005
by the International Organization for Standardization. National Sanitation
Foundation (NSF), AIB International, Eurofins, Silliker Laboratories and others
have developed their own private standards. These groups will also conduct one
or more of the GFSI audit schemes.
companies have changed to offer more choices of audit standards,” Richard
Stier, a consulting food scientist who advises food facilities worldwide about
Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards is a safety and quality certification
program used in 123 countries. Its certifications are issued through a
worldwide network of accredited certification bodies. BRC noted that its
standards are often cited by leading food retailers as a fundamental
requirement in their supply chain relationships.
Safety Initiative (GFSI) launched in May 2000 and takes a collaborative
approach. “Food safety problems were making a lot of headlines in Europe,” noted
Karil Kochenderfer, GFSI’s North American representative. “Retailers were
particularly concerned about managing food safety for foods that traveled
across borders. Every retailer was asking its suppliers for a different audit.
The supply chain needed to harmonize around good food safety practices.”
large companies follow standards that comply with GFSI, and outreach is now
being made to intermediate and smaller players. The group developed GFSI Global
Market, a one-to-three year program that helps such companies without extensive
food safety expertise or staff to acquire that knowledge and prepare for
year of the GFSI Global Markets program applies the basic checklist,” said Kim
Jennings-Knoll, business development manager, US Food Division, Eurofins. “The
second year, the facility graduates to the intermediate level with a checklist
of increasing rigor, and the final step is to go for full GFSI certification.
By participating in this program, the facility demonstrates to its customers
that it is committed to GFSI and that it’s on its way to achieving this.”
written by International Featured Standards (IFS) ensure that companies produce
foods, other products or services that comply with customer specifications
while continually working on process improvements. Its goal is to ensure
comparability and transparency for the consumer throughout the entire supply
chain. It was founded in 2003 under the name of International Food Standard and
has branched out into other fields since then. Its technical committee sets the
group’s name is derived from the Greek word isos, meaning equal) is another
independent, non-governmental international organization. Through its members,
a network of national standards bodies in 162 countries, ISO brings experts
together to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based standards.
These voluntary standards encompass more than just food processing, spanning
environmental management, social responsibility, information security, medical
devices and anti-bribery systems.
independent, accredited organization, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
develops standards, performs audits and makes certifications. It was founded in
1944 with a mission to protect and improve global human health. It also
provides education and risk management.
Quality Food’s (SQF) standards include a quality certification component as
well as an ethical sourcing standard. Its standing Technical Advisory Council
constantly reviews the independent group’s voluntary standards and proposes
changes. The group licenses certification bodies to conduct SQF audits for
Level 1 (fundamental controls), 2 (HACCP- and ISO-based programs) and 3
(comprehensive mastery) certification.