Global Food Safety (GFSI) Certification for the Processing Industry

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work with NSF?
  • Certification Process

In 2000, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was founded with the goal of continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure the delivery of safe food to consumers. Seven years later, major retailers began specifying and/or accepting third-party certification of their food suppliers to GFSI benchmarked standards.

Today, many food and beverage processors – both large and small scale – are undertaking GFSI certification to help ensure food safety and brand protection as well as to secure new business opportunities for their upstream supply chain customers specifying GFSI certification.

To begin your GFSI certification, contact NSF at +1 877.893.1325 or email foodsafetysolutions@nsf.org.

Benefits of Certification

GFSI certification provides independent certification that a product or process complies with specific international standards and enables a food supplier to give assurances that food has been produced and handled according to the most recognized standards.

It demonstrates a commitment to quality processes and continual improvement, and enables access to top retailers. Perhaps most importantly, certification to GFSI benchmarked standards increases brand protection and minimizes risk.

Third-party certification to GFSI standards demonstrates a food manufacturer’s strong commitment to safe manufacturing materials and processes. It distinguishes the “upper echelon” of food processing facilities, and separates industry leaders from industry followers.

Why Work with NSF?

NSF International is the leading global certifier to GFSI benchmarked standards, with exceptional technical expertise, consistently calibrated auditors and capacity for a timely path to certification. Backed by nearly 70 years of food safety expertise and a current average of 35,000 annual GFSI certifications, we enable food and beverage processors around the globe to demonstrate compliance to the world’s highest food safety standards.

NSF is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), and has a worldwide network of highly skilled and experienced auditors to help organizations of all sizes implement complex food safety solutions.

Certification Process

Certification to a GFSI packaging standard takes an average of six to nine months, depending on a facility’s level of readiness. The NSF certification process follows these basic steps:

  • You company selects a GFSI standard.
  • You apply to NSF for certification.
  • You identify training needs/receive training.
  • You perform a self-assessment of compliance with the standard.
  • NSF conducts an optional pre-assessment (gap analysis).
  • We perform a desk audit.
  • We perform an onsite certification audit and identify corrective actions.
  • The facility addresses corrective actions.
  • We verify/approve corrective actions.
  • We issue the certificate.

To maintain certification, companies must re-certify every year under most GFSI standards.

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