When you’re a distributor looking to expand in the food industry around the world, not only will you want a cost-effective product, you’ll also want a product you can guarantee is safe for the end-user, no matter what country it’s in.
That’s where food-safe packaging comes in.
At Versa Pak, we’ve taken steps to guarantee our poly bags, sheeting and films are produced safely for the consumer, but what does that actually mean? Read on to learn more.
Global Food Safety Initiative and SQF Certification
Back in the 1990s, there was a crisis for all sorts of food-borne illnesses. As a result, different countries, along with some of the largest food retailers, created the Global Food Safety Initiative.
This initiative sets the benchmark for food safety around the world, with each country following a specific set of standards.
What is the Safe Quality Food Program?
Under the Global Food Safety Initiative, there are multiple certifications companies in the food sector can receive, one of them being the Safe Quality Food Program, or SQF certification.
“SQF covers the entire global food supply chain, from beginning to end,” Versa Pak quality manager Joel Giesige said. “Throughout the entire process, they’re all abiding by the same global standards. If the product can be considered safe here, it can be considered safe overseas — all because they’re following the same benchmark.”
He described the regulations as following the process “from farm to fork,” and gave the example of a snack cake.
“They want to make sure they are producing it safely for the end-user, but they also want to go back to their raw materials providers, and they want to make sure they are producing as if they were making the actual cake itself,” he said.
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SQF at Versa Pak
Giesige said, “SQF is a HACCP-based initiative – or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point – where a product is tested periodically throughout the manufacturing process to guarantee everything is running as it should.”
Versa Pak is a custom manufacturing facility with the ability to produce food contact packaging materials. Our HACCP process slightly differs from actual food processing facilities. Critical Control Points, such as heat-to-temp or time cooked do not apply in the manufacturing of poly films.
“Everything is specifically tailored to each customer,” Giesige said. “Versa Pak will put tolerances on whatever specifications our customer is requiring.”
Most materials produced at Versa Pak require FDA-approved resins. When products need to follow food safety regulations, Versa Pak will characterize the run as an FDA order and it will be specified on the production order.
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A Competitive Edge in a Global Market
By being SQF certified, Versa Pak is able to provide a global opportunity for distributors: The certification allows them to ship their products overseas.
Versa Pak is Kosher certified and also FDA registered and compliant, so thy are audited through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. While the FDA/USDA does have its own set of food safety regulations, the SQF certification goes a little further.
“SQF supersedes the FDA just because of how thorough the SQF is, as far as the traceability,” Giesige explained. “At any point in time for a product we have produced, we can tell you all of the different resins that have gone into it – the exact lot numbers, manufacturing dates, production records, and the exact traceability of the packing materials that were used.”
At Versa Pak, food safety doesn’t end at quality control. We keep up-to-date with multiple certifications, and each team member undergoes continuous SQF training as well.
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