Food safety certification is verification by a third party that a product, process, or system in the food supply chain meets recognized food safety standards. It differs from other evidence of conformity systems such as supplier statements, laboratory test reports, or test center reports.
Food safety certificate is based on the outcomes of tests, investigations, and audits and gives consumers confidence that the organization's products and/or systems have been thoroughly assessed by a competent third party against recognized national and international industry standards.
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Product certification must prove that a food product meets the safety, conformity, and/or interchangeability characteristics specified in the standard and the standard supplementary specifications if required by the market. That is why food safety certification is mandatory.
The organization's certification demonstrates that, for example, its quality, environmental or other food management system complies with the relevant management system standard. Management system standards apply to the processes an organization uses to manufacture its products or provide its services, not to the products or services themselves.
If there is no legal requirement for companies in the food sector to meet the standards, food safety certification is voluntary. In these cases, companies may have their reasons for exploring certification of compliance with standards, such as consumer safety.