Quality assurance is a critical step in any food production operation, including ensuring the quality of your food packaging. Having high-quality food packaging that meets globally-recognized standards puts your product into safe packaging, keeps food fresh, and meets the requirements of major food retailers.
This post will dive into our quality standards as an example of what commercial food producers should expect in a food packaging supplier.
Food Packaging Quality Control Standards
We all know quality control standards are not only required by regulation but are essential in maintaining consumers’ trust and the business's long-term success. Quality control standards help ensure employees follow all regulations and guidelines, prevent contamination, and reduce loss by keeping food sealed and fresh.
Here at Lacerta, we are certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute’s SQF Food Safety Code for the Manufacture of Food Packaging. The 10-step program for certification was developed in Australia in 1995 and has been owned and managed by the Food Industry Association (FMI) since 2003. Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative, this food safety and quality certification program provides a system of oversight and quality control over every aspect of food processing, from the farm to the grocery store shelf.
Many food retailers, like Costco, require SQF certification among their certification requirements, making it essential for commercial food processors to work with an SQF-compliant packaging company.
SQF Food Packaging Quality Control
As a high-quality food packaging supplier, Lacerta maintains certification under the SQF Code, a special certification for suppliers in the food industry that focuses on applying the FDA’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) for the control of food-quality hazards and food safety.
The SQF Code’s latest checklist has nearly 150 items to ensure safe, quality packaging, from management responsibilities to product traceability. Here are a few requirements found on the SQF Code Edition 9 Checklist.
SQF Code Checklist
While quality control certification is a requirement for many food retailers, there may be a lack of understanding regarding the standards food packaging suppliers must meet.
- Product Creating and Testing - Food packaging manufacturers must show their packaging materials formulas are safe for food use, have been tested, materials came from approved suppliers, and that shelf life trials have been conducted.
- Custom Quality Assurance - When a food packaging supplier creates a package for a processor, the supplier should keep records of whether the packaging and labels met the producers' standards and were made with quality materials.
- Food Quality Plan - Suppliers are required to develop, effectively implement, and maintain a HACCP-compliant food quality plan, combined with or independent from the food safety plan. Suppliers must identify quality threats and critical quality points and perform threat analysis regularly.
- Management Responsibility - Starting at the top, senior site management at a commercial food processing site must ensure regulations are being followed, employees are performing key process steps, and that management is implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving the quality culture at the manufacturing site.
- Quality Management System - Food packaging suppliers must show they have documentation of all quality policies, records of compliance are being kept, and that those records are easily accessible.
- Training - The SQF Code lays out specific guidelines for training programs, including proficiency testing and ensuring all employees required to receive training have done so.
SQF Certified With a Custom Experience
Having a high-quality food packaging partner that adheres to the highest global standards helps ensure the food your company produces remains a safe, fresh, and tasty product from your processing plant to the consumer’s table. When choosing food packaging, your company should work with a partner that understands your quality assurance process and goals.
Lacerta’s in-house packaging experts oversee every stage of the process of creating the right packaging for you, from packaging design to prototyping, to mold making, to final manufacturing–all done with an eye toward safety and quality.
Lacerta has years of industry experience and a dedication to quality. Request sample containers today.