Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety
- What is the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety
- How does the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety Programme work
- Benefits of the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety
- Examples of successful organisations
What is the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety?
The Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety has been in existence since 1978 and is awarded to organisations that successfully complete a detailed audit of their food safety management systems. There are three levels of certification within the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety as follows:
Level 1 Foundation
This is the basic level for entry into the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety programme and is based around a specific Level 1 Foundation guidance document that is aimed at smaller organisations (less than 2000 square feet). The focus at this level is on basic compliance in all areas for the provision of safe food. Organisations that achieve Level 1 Foundation certification will have demonstrated an acceptable level of legal compliance during an unannounced audit. To achieve certification a score of 60% or higher must be achieved during the audit.
Level 2 Sapphire
This higher level award is based upon a separate Technical Standard aimed at promoting continuous improvement and requires organisations to demonstrate standards of hygiene and food safety management above those required to achieve Level 1 Foundation certification. A minimum score of 60% is required to achieve Level 2 Sapphire certification.
Level 3 Emerald
This is the highest level of certification in the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety programme and is awarded to organisations that achieve a score of 75% or higher in the unannounced audit. To achieve this level organisations will have demonstrated that they are operating at the highest levels of food safety with a focus on continuous improvement.
All sectors of the food industry are eligible to join the programme and to receive the internationally recognised Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety certification. For details of the most suitable Level for your organisation please contact us at email@example.com or call 01 6604100.
How does the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety Programme work?
The programme consists of two key documents:
- The Hygiene & Food Safety Guidance Document for Level 1 Foundation
- The Hygiene & Food Safety Technical Standard for Level 2 Sapphire and Level 3 Emerald
The key elements of the Hygiene & Food Safety Guidance document (Level 1 Foundation) are:
- Food Safety Management Systems
- Structure & Services
The key elements of the Hygiene & Food Safety Technical Standard (Level 2 Sapphire and Level 3 Emerald) are:
- Planning & Commitment
- Performance & Review
- Structure & Services
The Audit Process
The unannounced audit is performed by an experienced auditor who will:
- Review the organisations food safety management system
- Inspect the premises and facilities
- Observe staff practices
- Interview staff and management
- Conduct independent verification checks (e.g. temperature checks)
EIQA can provide assistance to organisation that are unsure of their ability to pass the assessment by performing a "Mock" audit which will provide detailed information on any areas for improvement required to achieve certification.
Benefits of the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety programme
- Enhances customer confidence - third party certification confirms that the organisation aspires to the highest standards of hygiene and food safety. This generates customer loyalty.
- Demonstrates your organisation's commitment using distinctive certification and marketing material based on the most widely used framework in Ireland.
- Provides the opportunity to benchmark against other organisations using the same framework, including Irish market leaders.
- Encourages and fosters excellent Hygiene and Food Safety Standards
- Assists companies in adhering to the National and European Food Hygiene legislation and enables compliance with the latest industry codes of practice
- Ongoing EIQA marketing and advertising campaign promotes the Hygiene Mark brand which creates brand awareness
- Increases your organisations competitive advantage
Examples of Successful Organisations that have completed the Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety
- SuperValu, Centra
- Midland Regional Hospital - Catering Department
- St Brigids Hospital
- Irish Prison Services
- Musgrave Foodservices
- Johnston Mooney & O'Brien
For further information or to sign up for the programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01 6604100