The Global Food Safety Initiative: Everything You Need to Know

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a voluntary program that aims to improve food safety worldwide by promoting the principles of good food production, safe food handling, and good hygiene practices. Learn more about GFSI here!

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Published 6 May 2022

What is GFSI?

GFSI, also known as the Global Food Safety Initiative, is a collaborative program that was established in February 2000 by leading food safety experts from retailers, manufacturers, and service providers. Its primary focus is to develop a global standard for food safety management systems.

The GFSI benchmarking scheme is currently being adopted by an increasing number of retail and foodservice companies worldwide to evaluate their food safety and also better understand how they can improve food security for others in their industry.

The scheme helps these companies evaluate the effectiveness of their food safety management systems to ensure that their facilities are producing safe food for their customers.

What Does the Global Food Safety Initiative Do?

Now that we have a clearer understanding of what they are, let’s move on to what they do. Well, The GFSI is an essential part of setting up food companies because it harmonizes food safety management systems around the world. By providing a consistent benchmark, the GFSI helps organizations ensure that their food safety management system is effective and safe.

They develop food safety standards, certify companies to these standards, and provide guidance and support to those companies that are working to improve their food handling and food safety practices.

So how do they do it? It involves 3 elements which include:

1. Review Policies to Supplier

The GFSI ensures that the supplier is knowledgeable about the proper standards and rules of food safety management.

2. Observe and Inspect

They observe and inspect the supplier while they are operating to ensure that they follow proper safety protocols and guidelines in their process. These include interviewing employees, inspecting the facilities, etc.

3. Track Progress

The GFSI reviews the supplier’s records and check if they are really doing what they are saying to their consumers.

Is GFSI Required?

Of course! The Global Food Safety Initiative ensures that food safety is upheld in every step of the food supply. They are very important in today’s society and help to create safe food for everyone.

When a food supplier is certified by the GFSI, it demonstrates that they meet recognized global food safety standards, which gives assurance to buyers that the food has been produced, processed, and handled under safe conditions.

Below are benchmarked schemes that are recognized by the GFSI:

  • FSSC 22000
  • IFS International Featured Standards
  • Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood
  • Japan Food Safety Management Association
  • PrimusGFS Standard
  • BRCGS Global Standard
  • Global Red Meat Standard
  • Global Gap
  • SQF
  • Canadagap

How Do I Get GFSI Certified?

To get GFSI certified, first, you need to start with HACCP which is known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It is a preventative food safety management system that helps food businesses identify and control food safety hazards.

After your business has implemented an effective HACCP plan, you can then begin the process of becoming GFSI certified. There are a few different GFSI schemes available, so you will need to decide which one is the best fit for your business.

Once you have chosen a scheme, you will need to submit an application and meet all of the necessary requirements. Then you need to put it into action and record your process to document it.

To make this process easier, you can use a GFSI Checklist via iAuditor by SafetyCulture to ensure that you follow the global food safety standard.

Finally, you will need to have your food safety management system audited by a third party and achieve certification.

Shella Marie Ang

SafetyCulture staff writer

Shella Marie Ang

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.