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ARLINGTON, Va. -- Food retailers, wholesalers, and restaurants will soon be able to review detailed supplier safety auditing and certification records online through a new alliance among the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), Muddy Boots Software, and Agentrics. SQFI, a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), plans to launch this service in early 2008.
SQF field auditors will use the Muddy Boots Quickfire software to enter food safety audit results into a hand-held computer anywhere food is grown, processed, or manufactured, FMI said yesterday.
The auditors will then transmit the data to a secure Agentrics online database, where food buyers can review auditing and certification records of suppliers in the SQF program.
SQF has issued more than 9,000 certificates to suppliers in over 20 countries, verifying that they comply with the most stringent U.S. and international food safety standards and company buyer specifications.
Agentrics will administer the data-gathering system and provide multilingual technical and online management support, to ensure the information is current and available in real time.
"This alliance will equip SQF with a robust collection of food safety information about companies around the world," said FMI group v.p. of food safety programs Jill Hollingsworth. "It offers buyers a quick and reliable means to identify suppliers with a strong commitment to providing safe food -- certified by independent audits.
In addition, the tool means certified suppliers will get increased exposure to current and potential customers. "Suppliers will be subjected to fewer audits as more buyers recognize that SQF certification satisfies all their safety requirements," said Hollingsworth.
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute, a division of FMI, manages the SQF Program, a fully integrated food safety and quality management protocol. SQF certification means that a grower, producer, or manufacturer is in compliance with international, regulatory, and other specified standards.
Agentrics has headquarters in Arlington, Va. and Chicago. Muddy Boots is based in Herefordshire, UK.