By Allison Febrey, Specialist, Health and Wellness, FMI Foundation and Food & Product Safety, FMI

Food safety continues to grow in importance to the American consumer, and so grows the importance of well-trained food safety auditors. We want to ensure there are well-trained auditors for years to come, so the FMI Foundation in partnership with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) created a Food Safety Auditing Scholarship for students currently enrolled as food and agricultural science majors.

What is the Food Safety Auditing Scholarship and Education Grant?

This scholarship seeks to support students who are interested in the field of accredited food safety auditing who also demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, motivation, and initiative. As part of the scholarship, students receive a fully sponsored admittance to the SQF Global Conference, an event designed specifically for advancing the career of food safety professionals, as well as $3,000 for their devotion to the profession.

What is a Food Safety Auditor?

A food safety auditor assesses food safety and quality systems developed and implemented by growers, food processors, packaging plants, distribution company, retailers, or foodservice operations. They verify the effective implementation of food safety systems against a recognized standard or set of criteria. A wide range of knowledge is drawn upon, including knowledge of food regulations, food industry systems, and food safety, as well as technical knowledge in food microbiology, HACCP and food science.

How Do You Become A Food Safety Auditor?

To become a food systems auditor, SQFI has the following requirements:

  • Education
    • University degree in food technology/food safety/food hygiene.
  • Training
    • Auditing the SQF Code Requirements virtual classroom course.
    • 40-hour course in lead auditing principles.
    • HACCP training that meets the definition found in the SQF Code.
    • SQF Food Safety Auditor online exam.
  • Experience
    • 5 years’ work experience in a food-related technical or supervisory role.
    • 160 audit hours in food safety.
  • FSC Requirements
    • 2 years’ work experience in the industry sector.


    • 160 audit hours in the industry sector.


    • A combination of both.

The Food Safety Auditing Scholarship is a great step toward fulfilling these requirements. By aiding students toward their degree and introducing them to the SQF code, students can join a passionate network of food safety professionals at the SQF Global Conference that helps ensure a safe and wholesome food supply.

Am I Eligible for this Scholarship?

To be eligible for the Food Safety Auditing Scholarship applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student (undergraduate or graduate) in an accredited U.S., Canada or Mexico college or university, have completed at least two years of college studies, have a minimum of 3.2 Grade Point Average, and be available to attend and participate in the SQF Global Conference. Please review the full rules and regulations.

A program of this caliber serves as a critical benefit for the entire food industry, including food retailers, product suppliers, and of course consumers. Applications are due on September 18, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST.