By: Sarah Malenich, Director, Sales & Marketing, Safe Quality Food Institute, Ashley Eisenbeiser, MS, CFS, Director, Food and Product Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute
SQF Retail Food Code

Shoppers maintain a high degree of trust and confidence in their grocery store to keep food safe. According FMI’s 2016 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, nearly 9 in 10 shoppers having confidence in the safety of food at the grocery store.

With trust comes responsibility--the responsibility to protect your customer and your brand.

Recent foodborne outbreaks have demonstrated some of the consequences of a food safety crisis. Chipotle, for example, saw a 36 percent drop in there stock between July 2015 and July 2016 as a result of several foodborne outbreaks. And today, Chipotle’s stock is still valued at 36 percent less than it was in July 2015. Food safety incidents can have a lasting impact on a brand both financially as well as on consumer confidence.

The Safe Quality Food Institute recently announced the launch of edition 8 of the SQF Program. With the release of edition 8, all areas of the food industry are now addressed—from primary production through the supply chain to consumers’ hands at their grocery store. The latest edition includes a new program for food retail.

The SQF Food Retail certification program is the solution to safeguard your customers and your brand. Achieving certification will add value to your brand by demonstrating and communicating your company’s commitment to continuously improving and strengthening your food safety programs in order to produce safe, quality food; comply with the requirements of the SQF Code; and comply with applicable food legislation.

Although the trends and conversation around food will change over the years, the need for safe food will always remain constant. The SQF Food Retail Program provides that constant assurance that food safety programs and best practices have been implemented to help protect customers.

More information about the additional value the SQF Food Retail Certification Program provides is available here. Edition 8 of the SQFI Program, including the Retail Food Code is available for downloaded at www.sqfi.com.