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Giovanni Food Co. Inc., an upstate New York manufacturer of tomato-based products, earned its Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 2 Certification from the Safe Quality Food Institute, an industry coalition focused on food safety. The certification will allow Giovanni Foods to potentially expand its distribution and private-label/contract manufacturing opportunities with major food retailers that typically require Level 2 SQF certification from their suppliers.
SQF certification is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative and is validation to many national and international retailers and food service providers that a supplier has food safety programs in place and that those programs are followed.
To earn the certification, Giovanni Foods had to demonstrate exceptional quality control and food safety practices. A two-day facility audit conducted by a qualified SQF inspector evaluated different aspects of the company’s adherence to the SQF code, including personnel practices, maintenance operations, plant cleanliness, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans, and other critical food safety measures.
“Achieving SQF Level 2 certification demonstrates Giovanni Food Company’s dedication to the safety and quality of our food products, two things we have always taken great pride in,” said Louis DeMent, CEO of Giovanni Food Co., Inc. “It also affords us the opportunity to work with new retailers as we continue to look for ways to grow our business. This certification exemplifies our continued commitment to providing safe, high-quality products to the marketplace.”
Giovanni Foods must undergo audits annually to retain its Level 2 certification. The company plans to pursue Level 3, the highest SQF Certification, to further demonstrate its commitment to safety and quality.