GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative): Why Your Food Service Facility Need To Be Certified

As we know, food safety is a top issue for any food producer since the consumer landscape is constantly changing with new requirements. It can be challenging for manufacturers of any size to choose the correct set of standards and the best auditing and partner to work with. Due to these numerous challenges that today’s food supply chain faces, an increasing number of retail and food service buyers throughout the world now require their suppliers to implement food safety and auditing systems that meet the GFSI Standards. 

The Global Food Safety Initiative, better known as GFSI, was founded as a non-profit organization in 2002 with the goal of providing guidance in the form of GFSI benchmark standards. It was created to provide consumers with trust in the production of safer food and To make sure food and beverages companies keep improving the quality and safety of their products. 

These global standards were established especially for primary producers, manufacturers, and distributors, to cover food, packaging, packaging materials, storage, and distribution based on the initiated requirements. The GFSI standards give a broad but clear structure for a manufacturer to choose from when incorporating compliance requirements into their existing safety and quality practices. To help you understand more about the GFSI and what you need to do the get a GFSI-recognized certification, let’s get into detail and explore more about this topic.

What is GFSI and Why Do We Need It?

We all know that getting the GFSI-recognized Certification for your food businesses has now become a necessity to promote and also prove that your products are safe to consume. It plays an important role and exists as a “benchmark” in food safety management certification programs. It means the certification for your facility needs to align with the GFSI standard scheme to be recognized as a safe food service facility. 

But what exactly is GFSI? Why is it in such demand? And why does your company need to have one? Well, let’s get you an understanding of what exactly is the GFSI.

GFSI or The Global Food Safety Initiative is a private organization that evaluates and qualifies multiple auditing platforms to ensure they satisfy their requirements. It is an initiative to develop food safety management systems to make sure that food processing facilities are producing food that is safe to consume. By having your business certified with a GFSI-recognized certification, we can easily present to customers and potential clients our certification to prove that your facility has an organized, efficient, and comprehensive food safety procedure in place.

What Are The Benefits Of Being GFSI Certified?

Ensuring GFSI compliance can help your organization not just to operate better, but also improves consumers and the food industry overall. Having a valid certification in GFSI will surely bring various advantages for your food and beverage businesses. Here are several examples of how your company will benefit from getting a GFSI-recognized Certification:

  • Improve company’s performance – The ability to create safe food has actually improved with GFSI safety compliances. Having a GFSI-recognized certification has helped many food manufacturing facilities all across the world to be more aware of food safety, therefore putting forward internal business results as well. Many companies have shown an increase in their performance after they receive their certification.
  • Maintain food safety – GFSI standards ensure a food safety management system and thus resulting in safe-to-consume products. When companies received their certification, they will continuously try to maintain and improve their standards to keep up with GFSI requirements. GFSI is proven to help promotes food safety awareness and understanding among employees.
  • Staying competitive – Ever since companies have very strict rules about production standards that align with the GFSI requirements, it has become quite beneficial for them to get certified as it helps them stay competitive in the broader market.
  • Optimize time and labor – The benefits of getting GFSI-recognized Certification are actually pretty long-lasting. It can’t be denied that getting certified requires a lot of time and labor. But, it is actually a way to optimize your time and labor for a very strategic approach. It provides a consistent approach to audits in the food business, which might help to avoid audit fatigue. In a way, following the GFSI standard will help you achieve a lower failure rate.

Who Needs to Obtain a GFSI-recognized Certification?

Examples of food service establishments that need to get a GFSI Certification include:

  • Packaging Manufacturers
  • Fresh Produce Handlers
  • Packaging and Storage Facilities
  • Farmers and Other Food Facilities
  • Food Processors and Manufacturers

How To Get Started For Getting A Certification?

When your company meets the requirement to get a GFSI-recognized certification, the certification body will issue you a certificate that will allow you to show your consumers that your company is taking the required procedures to ensure the provision of safe food. Here are some summarized steps for getting a GFSI-recognized Certification for your company.

To put it simply, when you’re getting GFSI certified for your food service company there are a few steps that you will need to do:

  • Since there are several standard programs that are recognized by GFSI, you need to choose a standard to which you want to get certified.
  • With Mandreel, you can get to know more and even get trained to meet the requirements for GFSI.
  • After you grasp an understanding of the requirements, you can start setting up a food safety management system and keep track of your processes.
  • Once you’re all set, you may book an appointment with a certification body and obtain certification after being audited.

Even though those are already some quite clear explanations, Mandreel will make sure to assist you in every step of the process to get you the maximum outcome. With Mandreel’s team of professionals, experienced in the industry, we’ll ensure you get the best result for your food service facility. 

What Are The Steps For Getting A Certification?

In detail, to explain more about the simple steps before, there are at least 6 stages that you will need to go through for the whole certification process. Here are the stages for your GFSI-recognized certification process:

  • Visit the GFSI website – First of all, you need to determine which sub-sector of the agri-food sector your facility belongs to, as well as the GFSI scope that will be utilized to evaluate your facility, by visiting the GFSI website. To find GFSI-recognized certification programs that cover your scope of recognition, you can simply click on that scope’s button to get on the page.
  • Contact the CPOs – Grasp an understanding of the whole requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to get your facility certified. After that, decide on which certification standard is recognized by the GFSI and you feel is the best option for your food service facility. You can get in contact with the GFSI-recognized certification program owners, or CPO in short and request their list of requirements. 
  • Conduct a gap analysis – Perform a gap analysis of the food safety management practices of your facility and those required by your CPO. Find out if you manage to meet all the requirements from the CPO and request any assistance from others when you need to. 
  • Prepare and do some internal audits – Before you can begin the audit process, you’ll need to review all preliminary requirements followed by conducting a HACCP analysis to confirm that all the needed requirements have been implemented in the process. After that, conduct some internal audits to make sure that the site is capable of meeting the scheme standard. 
  • Get audited with a certification body – To start the audit process, first, you need to find a qualified certification body from the certification program owners’ or CPO’s website for your chosen certification program. Or, you can also directly ask the CPO for the list of certification bodies that are accredited to do the audit. After you decided on one of the certification bodies, you can start contacting them to discuss and choose a date to begin the audit process for the certification program.
  • Maintenance for the long run – Once you already get certified you still need to ensure that your business continues to fulfill requirements. Another important thing you need to remember is to make sure you schedule a second audit before your certificate expires.

How Can We Help You?

Mandreel’s team of experts is always ready to help your business get certified by meeting the requirements of the GFSI standards. With us, you can implement the best standard into your food safety and management system, thus meeting up with your customers’ expectations. To add more, having a valid GFSI-recognized certificate will improve your business in the global markets, 

We have a line of professionals with multiple experiences under their belt who are ready to meet up your expectations for food safety standards. We are sure to bring the best solutions for your food safety management and assist you from the very start to get the GFSI Certification. So, book an appointment with us to discuss and find out more about how to get a GFSI certification to help your company for many years to come. 

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