A worker loads fish into a belt freezer at BCS.

These organizations help ensure your food is safe to eat

February 26, 2020

How do you know the food you purchase is safe to eat? How do you know whether proper precautions have been taken to ensure that the food you feed your family is as safe as possible?

Many organizations all around the world exist for this very purpose. They craft guidelines that include best practices for food safety, and they inspect and certify facilities to ensure that high standards are being upheld.

Bellingham Cold Storage and the food companies based at our value-added processing centers in Bellingham work diligently to ensure that the utmost care is being taken at this step of the food production and delivery pipeline.

Explained below are three acronyms you may not have heard of — SQF, GFSI and BRCGS — that help give peace of mind to customers that their food has been properly handled, stored and delivered.


The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized the world over as providing rigorous food safety and quality certification to businesses in the food supply chain.

Cold storage is a critical piece of that supply chain, and BCS is SQF-certified.

Bellingham Cold Storage’s SQF 8.0 certification in the category of Food Storage and Distribution covers the cold storage of various prepackaged food products for both of our locations — at 2825 Roeder Ave. and 600 Orchard Drive — in Bellingham.

The SQF program is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative as one of the certification program owners, or CPOs, that are allowed to certify individual companies such as BCS.


The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was created in 2000 by The Consumer Goods Forum global industry network to build trust among consumers around the globe that the food they’re buying and eating is safe. GFSI works to improve food safety management practices and provides benchmarking and harmonization of guidelines for such entities as SQF, mentioned above, and other entities such as GLOBALG.A.P., the Global Red Meat Standard, Freshcare, BRCGS and more.


Like SQF and others, the British Retail Consortium Global Standard is a certification program recognized by GFSI. At Bellingham Cold Storage, two food processors have achieved BRCGS certification: King & Prince (certified through QMI-SAI Canada Limited) and Trident Seafoods (certified through AIB International).

According to the BRCGS website, the standards exist to guarantee the standardization of quality, safety and operational criteria, helping to ensure that manufacturers fulfill their legal obligations and provide protection for consumers. Furthermore, the site continues, BRCGS certification is often required by retailers, manufacturers and food service organizations.

BRCGS, GFSI and SQF — these three acronyms are evidence that Bellingham Cold Storage and the food companies located in our northwest Washington storage warehouse center are working hard to ensure that your food is safe to eat.