- Benefits of Certification
- Why Partner with NSF/QAI?
- Certification Process
QAI has partnered with NSF International to provide a credible, verified and science-based gluten-free certification program and label consumers can trust. This certification meets and exceeds FDA guidelines for gluten-free labeling and includes product testing to validate the accuracy of gluten-free product claims.
We utilize sensitive testing procedures, a stringent auditing process, on-site annual inspections and an independent application review process to validate the accuracy of your gluten-free products and ensure the integrity of the gluten-free certification seal.
For more information, or to begin your gluten-free certification process, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of Certification
Our gluten-free program provides credible, verified and science-based gluten-free certification with a label consumers can trust. The program demonstrates compliance to FDA gluten-free labeling guidelines and provides additional assurance to consumers through facility inspection and testing. Learn more about the gluten-free program on the QAI website.
Why Partner with NSF/QAI?When you choose NSF/QAI, you benefit from over 20 years of industry experience along with dedicated technical experts in their field. Our team of experienced and highly-trained staff and inspectors is customer-focused and driven, providing swift, efficient service and cost-effective, fixed fees. By being part of the NSF International family, we can also bundle your food safety certification to maximize your cost efficiencies and minimize interference to your operation.
We can support you in your commitment to achieve gluten-free certification. Whether you produce items at the beginning, middle or the end of the supply chain, you can earn gluten-free certification in just five steps.
Step 1: Product Review — You provide details about your gluten-free operation or products to our technical review team to help us understand the scope of your operation, the procedures you follow and the products your company processes, labels, handles and/or trades. A dedicated certification project manager guides you through the process. Product review includes:
- Full documentation review and desk audit
- Gluten-Free compliance plan (GCP) review
- Individual product profile (IPP) and labeling review
Step 2: Onsite Inspection — An experienced inspector conducts an on-site evaluation of your operation to verify the information on your application and assembled documentation to ensure consistent gluten-free production. Upon achieving certification, annual on-site inspections are required to maintain certification.
Step 3: Testing — During the onsite inspection, the inspector collects a random product sample that will be tested to ensure gluten-free integrity at 10 ppm or less. The inspector also verifies that raw ingredient testing has been performed, and confirms one or more of the following:
- Allergen affidavits
- Certificate of analysis
- Raw ingredient sourcing from a QAI-certified gluten-free supplier
Step 4: Certification — Your operation is classified as compliant and deemed certified to the applicable standard upon successful completion of steps 1-3. You receive a numbered certificate and can use the QAI gluten-free mark on your certified gluten-free products and in your marketing materials.
Step 5: Ongoing Compliance — We ensure ongoing annual continuous compliance.
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How long does the certification process take?
Generally, the process takes about eight to 10 weeks from receipt of payment and all data required for review. We also offer various levels of rush services.
How much does it cost to be certified?
The fee for QAI’s organic certification depends on various factors (e.g., size of operation, location, etc.). A fee schedule is provided with the QAI application for organic certification.
Who sets the regulations that govern Quality Assurance International (QAI) as an accredited organization of the United States Department of Agriculture?
QAI certifies to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. While QAI does not develop the regulations, QAI is actively involved in the industry working groups and the National Organic Standards Board to help ensure long-term consumer trust in organics.
QAI strictly follows regulations established by the NOP, the federal regulation that ensures all USDA requirements are met. As part of its accreditation, QAI updates programs and policies as needed to ensure ongoing compliance with NOP regulations. The NOP website provides more information on the role of accredited organizations.
Just as consumers in the United States rely on the NOP and its accredited certifiers to ensure that all organic-labeled food destined to enter the U.S. meets U.S. organic production and labeling laws, other countries and regions (including Japan, Canada and the European Union) have similar governance. For more detailed information on global organic regulations, visit the QAI website.
What does "certified organic" mean?
In the United States, “certified organic” means that a nonprofit, state or private certification organization, such as QAI, which has been accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has verified that products labeled as “organic” meet strictly defined organic standards.
Similarly, in some global markets, “certified organic” means that a certification organization, such as QAI, has been approved by an accreditation body to certify products in the respective international markets.
What is organic?
In the United States, organic is defined as a production system managed in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act and the National Organic Program to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.
Source: USDA - National Organic Program 2001
Other countries and regions, including Japan, Canada and the European Union, have their own federal regulations covering the production and labeling of organic foods.
For more information about international regulations for organics, visit the QAI website.