F&S Produce Company once again achieved SQF 2000 Level 3, the highest level of SQF (Safe Quality Food) Certification, for its complete line of products that include fresh cut retail, deli, food service, industrial fresh, industrial IQF, puree and USDA items for the 5th consecutive years.
“SQF 2000 Level 3 is a global comprehensive food safety and quality management system that is sought after by many US food processors. As a result, we have developed a world class quality system at F&S Produce that we’re finding many of our customers are requiring or requesting that we have this program in place,” says Dawn Johnson, director of technical services at F&S.
SQF is administered by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and is designed as a food safety program but also covers product quality, a feature that is unique to a certification program of this type. The certification independently verifies that food safety plans have been implemented in accordance with the HACCP method and that the company adheres to applicable regulatory requirements and is effectively managing food safety and quality.
SQF is an accepted food safety and quality program that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Under the umbrella of GFSI, eight major global retailers came to a common acceptance of GFSI benchmarked food safety audit programs in June 2007. These global retailers, as well as many other food service, retail and manufacturing companies, have now joined this approach and have begun to require their suppliers to be certified by one of the four GFSI auditing programs, which includes SQF.
SQF is the most common GFSI-accepted program that is used by US processors and growers. Sam Pipitone, president and CEO at F&S, says that the SQF 2000 Level 3 Certification is something the company is thrilled to achieve for the 5th consecutive year. “It takes a total commitment by each employee every day to maintain these high standards and this re-certification is verification of our company’s total commitment to this initiative. Most importantly this 5th year anniversary of our first SQF 2000 Level 3 Certification ensures all our current and potential new customers that they are dealing with an industry leader in food safety that is totally committed to continue that goal,” he adds.
F&S works closely with our retail, deli, food service and industrial customers’ R&D and quality assurance departments to ensure that their products meet the needs of their customers.
“SQF 2000 level 3 recertification for the 5th consecutive year allows F&S Produce customers to have confidence that all F&S products are fresh, safe, wholesome and nutritional,” says Sam Burleson, vice president of sales & marketing. “In addition, each of our customers has developed trust in dealing with F&S Produce as an industry leader in quality and food safety. We feel that this recertification achievement just confirms that trust.”
F&S Produce Company services fresh cut retail, deli and foodservice accounts throughout the Northeast and industrial fresh and IQF accounts nationally from its 125,000-square-foot operations in Rosenhayn, New Jersey. The company has an extensive quality assurance system in place and in addition to its SQF 2000 Level 3 Certification is also Organic and Kosher Certified.