1. Scope and Applicability

This “Food Safety Annex to DQS Assessment and Certification Regulations” apply to all assessment and certification services offered and rendered to clients of DQS Inc. according to the food safety standards listed within these regulations are only valid in combination with the general DQS Assessment and Certification Regulation available in English language at DQS - DQS Group Auditing and Certification Rules (dqsglobal.com) or upon request from every DQS office.

2. SQFI Program Requirements

For Clients applying for the Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification, the following terms and conditions apply:

  1. The Client shall comply with the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of the current SQF Code to which they are certified/ certifying and the ISO 17065 Protocol pertaining to SQF requirements, SQF Repositrak system, use of SQF Logo and Quality Shield, and Certificate Suspension rules including the requirement for the client to make all necessary arrangements for: 
  • the conduct of the evaluation (see 3.3) and surveillance(if required), including provision for examining documentation and records, and access to the relevant equipment, location(s), area(s), personnel, and client's subcontractors;
  • investigation of complaints;
  • the participation of observers, if applicable;

2. DQS shall suspend the SQF certificate if the supplier

  • Fails to permit the recertification or surveillance audit
  • Receives an “F- fails to comply” rating
  • Fails to take corrective action
  • Fails to permit an unannounced audit
  • Fails to take correction action within the timeframe specified or
  • Where in the opinion of DQS fails to maintain the requirements of the SQF code

3. Where the supplier’s certificate is suspended, DQS shall immediately amend supplier details in the SQFI database to a suspended status indicating the reason for suspension and effective date, and in writing:

  • Inform the supplier of the reasons for the action taken and the date of effect
  • Copy the SQFI Compliance Manager on the notice of suspension sent to the supplier
  • Request that the supplier provides DQS within 48 hours of receiving notice a detailed corrective action plan outlining the corrective action to be taken.
  • Inform the supplier that while the SQF certificate is on suspension, the site shall not represent or promote itself as holding an SQF certificate.

4. When the site’s certificate is suspended, DQS shall upon receipt of the detailed correction action plan:

  • Verify that the immediate correction has been taken by the means of an on-site visit within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the corrective action plan.
  • When corrective action has been successfully implemented, reinstate the site status on the SQFI assessment database and give written notice to the site that their certificate is no longer suspended.
  • Not more than six (6) months after suspension, DQS shall conduct a further unannounced site visit to verify the effective implementation of the corrective action plan and the site’s SQF system is achieving stated objectives and
  • Copy SQFI on the notice indicating lifting of the suspension sent to the site.

 5. Any SQF certificate decisions or information shall be forwarded to the Program Manager.  The Program Manager and SQFI Compliance Manager shall work together in the pending suspension process. The SQFI Compliance Manager will be included in the decision-making process at the latest, before the final verdict is made.

6. SQF Food Safety Code and Food Quality Code (Edition 8) certified suppliers are granted authorization to use of the SQFI logo on any internal materials. The SQF logo can be obtained directly from SQFI. Food Quality Code certified suppliers are additionally granted permission to use of the SQF Quality Shield on any products and marketing materials. The SQF Quality Shield can only be obtained from DQS as your Certification Body.

7.  In cases where DQS Inc. is required by law or required by SQFI or GFSI to release confidential client information to them, the client shall, unless prohibited by law, be notified of the information provided.