ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI and Food Marketing Institute Launch Pilot Accreditation Program in Food Safety

New York, Nov 22, 2004

The arm of food safety reaches far beyond the household kitchen, with codes and regulations influencing every link in the food supply chain, from manufacturers and suppliers to transport and distribution. Standards and certifications that guide best food safety practices are critical to public health and provide an independent and external validation that a product, process or service complies with international, regulatory and other specified standards. In partnership with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been selected as the pilot accreditation body as part of FMI’s Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification program. The SQF program is a fully integrated food safety and quality management protocol that enables a food supplier to give assurances that food has been produced, prepared and handled according to the highest possible standards, but until now, certifiers have not been accredited. "Accreditation provides the necessary oversight of the activities of the certification and auditing function and is firmly established in the food sector outside the U.S. FMI is pleased that ANSI has agreed to provide an accreditation service for its SQF certification bodies," said Paul Ryan, executive director of the SQF Institute, a division of FMI. Under the agreement between the two groups, ANSI will initiate a pilot program for the accreditation of certification bodies in accordance with the Safe Quality Food Institute Standards (SQF 1000 and SQF 2000). The main feature of the SQF 1000 code is that it is based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system, a proven method used by the food industry to minimize food safety risks and reduce the incidence of unsafe food reaching the marketplace. The SQF 2000 Code outlines the general food safety and quality system requirements for the supply of raw materials and ingredients, food products and processed or prepared foods, beverages or services and is used by suppliers including manufacturing, catering, and food service companies. ANSI’s accreditation program will also utilize ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, from the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. "ANSI was selected as the pilot accreditation body because of its world-wide credibility, knowledgeable and professional staff , and history of accreditation activities similar to the partnership undertaken with the SQF Institute," said Reinaldo Figueiredo, ANSI program director of product certification accreditation. “We looking forward to working with FMI to encourage participation by certifiers in this program.” At present, five certification bodies have already expressed strong interest in participating in this pilot program. The SQF Institute administers a rigorous, reliable, independent certification program, including standards for all food commodities from farm to retail, third-party auditing and training. SQF is designed to provide benefits to suppliers, retailers, and most of all, to the consumer. ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations, the ANSI Federation represents the diverse interests of more than 120,000 entities and 3.2 million professionals worldwide. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). ANSI currently has offices in New York City and Washington, DC. # # #