Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certification

Due to complex challenges in today’s food supply chain, many of the world's largest food retailers are mandating supplier certification to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) schemes, which include SQF, BRC, IFS, FSSC, GLOBALG.A.P. and BAP and CanadaGAP.

NSF companies are the leading global certifier to GFSI benchmarked standards, with exceptional technical expertise, consistently calibrated auditors and capacity for a timely path to certification.

GFSI was established to ensure confidence in the delivery of safer food to consumers, while continuing to improve food safety throughout the supply chain.  These global standards address food, packaging, packaging materials, storage and distribution for primary producers, manufacturers and distributors.

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  • Open Can I still request an audit in 2020?

    We are still actively booking 2020 audits with the assumption that they can be performed onsite. As always, when scheduling your audit, we strive to reach a mutual agreement on audit dates, however as we move through the year, we may experience a lack in flexibility. If you require an audit this year it is best to secure your dates with our scheduling team immediately. As we work with you to book your audit dates, we will require your quick response and commitment, so we can deliver the right audit, with a qualified auditor in a time frame that meets your needs.

    If travel and visitor restrictions continue into Q3 and Q4, we will contact you with approved alternatives to your onsite audit.

  • Open Do I qualify for a remote audit?

    Your site may qualify for a remote audit if it meets the following criteria:

    • The audit being conducted is not the first visit (initial audit) by NSF to the facility.
    • The previous audit conducted at the facility occurred in 2019 and the score of that audit was equal to or greater than 85%.
    • Scope of the current remote audit is the same as the scope of the previous audit.
    • You can confirm your site meets the technology usage requirements
    • Specifying clients must approve of the remote audit process
  • Open Will my customer accept a remote audit? What is the benefit of a remote audit?

    Several major retailers are accepting remote audits during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are conducting remote audits for facilities that manufacture and store food and food packaging, as well as audits involving animal welfare practices.

  • Open When should I book my onsite audit?

    We are currently working to contact all clients with dates for their 2020 audits with the assumption that they can be performed onsite. As always, when scheduling your audit, we strive to reach a mutual agreement on audit dates, however as we move through the year, we may experience a lack in flexibility.

    As we reach out to book your audit dates, we will require your quick response and commitment, so we can deliver the right audit, with a qualified auditor in a time frame that meets your needs.  If you need to submit any production or blackout dates that may fall into your audit boundary window, please contact your Customer Service/Scheduling Representative immediately. We will do our best to work within your guidelines.

    If travel and visitor restrictions continue into Q3 and Q4, we will contact you with approved alternatives to your onsite audit.

  • Open How long can I extend my certification?

    In some cases, Certification Program Owners are allowing extensions up to 6 months. Due to the increased volume of audits expected in the last half of the year, NSF will schedule your onsite audit roughly 60-90 days after your successful Risk Assessment. Your 2021 boundary window will not be reset by the extension granted in 2020, so scheduling your onsite audit as close to your original audit boundary window will help spread out the additional stress of an onsite food safety audit.

  • Open What precautions are your auditors taking before arriving onsite?

    NSF commits that its employees and contractors will take the following steps before, during and after a visit to any client facility in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Where a client or local safety authority issues requirements different from the requirements below, NSF will follow whichever requirement is strictest.

    On a daily basis, our representatives will:

    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms
    • Check temperatures every morning to confirm no fever (99.5° F /37.5° C or greater
    • Stay home if showing symptoms of COVID-19 or a fever
    • Carry hand sanitizer and use as needed whenever hand washing facilities are not available

    Before entering a client site, our representatives will ask the following 3 questions of the client:

    • Do you have anyone on the premises who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
    • Do you have any specific health and safety control measures NSF needs to be aware of prior to our visit?
    • Are there any local safety requirements NSF needs to be aware of?

    Once at the client site, our representatives will:

    • Always wear a mask, unless (1) providing training, in which case a distance of 2m/6ft will be maintained or (2) a client expressly asks us not to, in writing

    We will bring our own masks; however, we will wear a client-issued mask if requested. Masks will be discarded (if disposable) or washed (if reusable) at the end of the work day. Where possible, commercially available masks will be used; otherwise, self-made masks may be used

    • Leave personal effects in an area separate from cafeterias or other eating areas
    • Sanitize mobile phones or other equipment before entering the client site
    • Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before beginning work and as needed during the client visit
    • Avoid physical contact with client personnel (no shaking of hands, etc.)
    • Avoid close proximity to client personnel, maintaining a social distance of 2m/6ft where possible, both while actively working and during any breaks

      For example:
      For any document review or similar work to be performed by NSF representatives, we will request a separate workspace if possible. We will not participate in working lunches and will not take breaks in the client’s break room if such room is too small to allow appropriate social distancing.

    After the client visit

    If an NSF representative is diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of a client visit, NSF will immediately notify the client of such diagnosis.

  • Open What is the difference between a desk audit, a remote and a risk assessment?

    Remote audits are not an option for Certified Program Owners (BRC, SQF, IFS, and FSSC). Risk assessments are an option for BRC, SQF, and FSSC and they allow for a 6-month extension. A Risk Assessment consists of a document review and follow-up interviews. It does not result in Non-Conformances.

    Remote audits consist of document reviews, interviews and possible virtual facility tours. A full audit report and non-conformances will be issued.

  • Open What happens to my listing in Repositrak? Will I still be visible as certified on the public directory?

    SQF requires clients to maintain their registration in Repositrak as per section 1.3 of the SQF code. Although NSF is granting extensions to certificates, sites may appear as not-listed on the Repositrak database.

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