Food Safety: Global Food Safety

Food retailers along with food manufacturers are putting more emphasis on food safety in all steps of the food chain to protect our food from contaminants and prevent illness as witnessed recently in peanut butter, spinach, and pet foods among others.

One of the leading voices in international food Safety is the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The CIES Business Forum (, a group of over 200 major retailers in 50 countries, started the GFSI in 2001. This forum is now The Consumer Goods Forum which was created by the merger of CIES, the pre-eminent food and consumer goods industry body, with the Global CEO Forum and the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI), two global retailer and manufacturer collaborative platforms.

The GFSI Guidance is designed to eliminate multiple audits at food producing plants while ensuring safety food.

The GFSI Guidance Document, Version 5 was released September 2007. It contains commonly agreed criteria for food safety standards, against which any food or farm assurance standard can be benchmarked.
The guidance document can be downloaded at GFSI.

  • GFSI is a guidance document presenting requirements for Food Safety Management Schemes.
  • GFSI is not a standard.
  • GFSI is not involved in certification or accreditation activities.
  • The guidance can be applied to all food suppliers throughout the supply chain (from growers to consumer).

A number of standards have been determined to meet the GFSI Manufacturing Scheme requirements at this time. They include:

  • British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard Version 5
  • Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000)
  • Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP Issue 2 (GAA Seafood Processing Standard
  • Global Red Meat Standard, Version 3
  • International Food Standard (IFS) Version 5
  • Safe Quality Food Program (SQF) 2000 Level 2
  • Synergy 22000

The Guidance Document is divided into three sections
Part I: Requirements for food safety management schemes
Part II: Requirements for conforming food safety management standard
Part III: Requirements for he delivery of food certification systems

Food Safety Standard Links:

  • GFSI: Guidance document available at no cost
  • BRC: Standard may be viewed at no cost, available for purchase
  • FSSC 22000: Combines ISO 22000 & ISO 22002 standards can be purchased as indicated below
  • Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP Issue 2 (GAA Seafood Processing Standard, standard available for no cost)
  • Global Red Meat Standard, Version 4.2, standard available for no cost
  • IFS: Standard available for purchase
  • ISO 22000: Standard available for purchase
  • ISO 22002: Standard available for purchase
  • SQF: Standard available for no cost
  • International Food Safety & Quality Network: Good source of information
  • Synergy 22000 Combines ISO 22000 and ISO 22002. Note: As of Jan 17, 2012 – FSSC and Synergy have reached agreement on a joint future strategy regarding the use of ISO 22000 for developing GFSI recognised schemes.

Quest Analytical, Inc announces two new workshops to help you address the new international emphasis on Food Safety Standards


Food Safety Management Systems Workshop

Advanced FSSC Workshop


Contact Quest Analytical for:

  • Training: GFSI requirements or a specific standard
  • Implementation assistance with a Food Safety Management System

Quest Analytical has food safety experts to assist you. “The right people with the right knowledge.”