Develop effective food safety practices by transitioning to SQF Code Edition 9.

Blurb: Effective food safety practices are a big concern amongst the public, and both customers and potential trading partners want an assurance that the food they purchase from a business is safe and contamination-free. By transitioning to the revised Safe Quality Food Code Edition 9, business’ are proving that they take the issue of food safety seriously, and that their food safety practices meet international standards. This kind of reassurance can benefit business’ in many ways, including both retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.

One crucial thing that the pandemic highlighted for business’ is that, particularly in challenging times, customers and potential trading partners often seek an assurance of a business’ high-quality practices before even considering dealing with them. Over the past year there has been heightened concern about the importance of safe food handling practices across all points of the food supply chain, and the business’ that are able to demonstrate their compliance to internationally recognised food safety practices are the ones most likely to distinguish themselves in a competitive marketplace and attract more customers. Therefore, the Safe Quality Food Institute has revised the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code to the recent Edition 9, to ensure that compliant business’ practice even higher food safety standards, taking into consideration recent food safety concerns. By moving over to it, business’ prove their commitment to food safety.

The SQF Code helps business’ manage risks associated with food safety, by helping them develop internationally recognised food safety practices across their operations. By moving to it, business’ are demonstrating to regulatory bodies, potential trading partners, and both existing and new customers that they are safe to purchase food from, that the food they purchase from the business will serve its intended use, and that it will be both hazard and contamination-free. The Code provides business’ with internationally recognised food safety strategies, and requires auditing of these practices to ensure that they are upheld, thus giving business’ the opportunity to continually improve upon their food safety practices, and develop a reputation as a reputable, safe company to purchase from.

Further, two kinds of changes have been included in this revised Code; structural and technical. The structural codes have been significantly overhauled to be wider reaching, with it now including various industry specific codes for business’, such as including specific procedures for livestock and pet food. Previously, these were all addressed under the ‘manufacturing industry’ umbrella, but have now been expanded to ensure that industry specific concerns are addressed. The revised technical aspects of the Code address issues such as the development of a food safety culture, ensuring that staff are adequately trained on their responsibilities, ensuring that the air supply is uncontaminated, and so on.

To help business’ develop the highest food safety practices, which account for many of the heightened food safety concerns over the past year, the revised Code comes into effect on Monday, the 24th of May, and business’ wanting to remain compliant to the SQF Code must ensure their practices meet the new guidelines that have been outlined. Some of the key changes include:

  • Business’ are required to develop a ‘food safety culture’ across their operations, and demonstrate its effectiveness to auditors. This means that organisations will have to demonstrate how they have developed a food safety culture, including how staff are briefed on their responsibilities, how documentation is presented to employees, what incident handling processes are in place, and so on. By doing so, business’ are demonstrating that their food safety obligations are taken seriously, and that all staff are aware of their responsibilities.
  • Stricter food labelling practices. The revised Code recognises that the incorrect labelling of food has led to a number of product recalls, so Edition 9 outlines some processes business’ must now follow when labelling food to minimise errors, and reduce the chances of product recalls.
  • High-risk sites requiring ambient air testing. This ensures that potential air contamination threats are quickly dealt with, thus mitigating the chances of potentially contaminated worksites leading to food contamination.

These are just a few of the revisions included in Edition 9, and by transitioning to it business’ are demonstrating that their food safety practices adhere to internationally recognised standards, and that they are safe to purchase food from.

SQF Edition 9 comes into effect on the 24th of May

Business’ already certified to the older SQF Code are required to move to the new one to ensure their practices reflect the stronger food safety concerns. Business’ should embrace moving over to it, as it gives them the opportunity to improve upon their existing practices, publicly demonstrate their commitment to food safety, and enhance their overall operations, ensuring that it runs in a safer, smoother, more productive manner.

If you think this sounds like a recipe for success and would like to get started on the transition process, then please email Anitech’s specialist consultants today at or call them directly on 1300 802 163. All you need to do is tell them about your business, including its size, industry, and the type of food it works with, and they will be able to discuss with you how Edition 9 could be implemented across your operations to ensure its food safety practices are second-to-none. Doesn’t that sound particularly appetising?

Please click here to read Anitech’s Member Spotlight Interview for Food Safety Select.