Questions and answers about certification

Where will my certified product or service be publicised?

Newly certified products and services appear in our newsletter. This is predominantly subscribed to by people with allergies and intolerances. They will also be posted in the database on our website.

 

Questions


Before certification
 

 

During certification
 

After certification

 

 

Audit
 

 

 

Before certification


How much does certification with the Allergy Seal of Quality cost?

The use of the Allergy Seal of Quality is associated with one-off initial certification costs as well as annually recurring maintenance costs per product or product group and an annual licence fee.

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What are the advantages of the Allergy Seal of Quality for manufacturers?

The Allergy Seal of Quality with its recognition value offers manufacturers an attractive opportunity to enter the market with special products for those affected and to position them as tested in the growing sector.

Prominence
The Allergy Seal of Quality has a very high recognition value thanks to its nationwide recognition.

Customer acquisition
With safe, controlled special products for those affected, new target groups can be opened up in one of the fastest-growing markets. In Switzerland, around 3 million people are affected by allergies and intolerances.

Transparency
Consumers are increasingly demanding transparency in order to be able to identify special products quickly and reliably.

Experience
Service Allergie Suisse has over 15 years of experience in the certification of special products and services.

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How does the certification process work, and how do I have to proceed in order to have my product or service certified with the Allergy Seal of Quality?

In order to use the Allergy Seal of Quality, you must have a valid certificate. For this, the products and services go through a certification process. The first thing we need is an enquiry from a company with details of the product or service. Once all the required documents have been received, the certification process is started. Both the documents and the manufacturing company or service are thoroughly checked. Among other things, an audit is carried out by an independent audit body. If all requirements for the Allergy Seal of Quality are met, we issue a certificate for the corresponding product or service.

In this overview, you will find more information about the 5 steps to the Allergy Seal of Quality.

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What requirements do I have to fulfil in order to have my product or service certified?

A company that manufactures products with the Allergy Seal of Quality or offers certified services must have a quality management standard (e.g. ISO 9001) as well as an allergen management system according to the HACCP concept in place and implemented in order to be certified. Exceptions to this are mentioned in our specific requirements. The specific requirements regulate the requirements for the various product categories and services. We would be happy to send you these if you are interested.

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How are the specific requirements for the Allergy Seal of Quality determined?

When drafting the regulations (specific requirements), we worked closely with specialists from the relevant specialist areas and sectors (e.g. food and cosmetics) as well as large, internationally active certification bodies. The legal basis and specific standards as well as the assessment of cantonal enforcement are also decisive.

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How long does the certification process take?

The process usually takes 3 to 6 months after all the necessary documents are received.

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Where will my certified product or service be publicised?

Newly certified products and services appear in our newsletter. This is predominantly subscribed to by people with allergies and intolerances. They will also be posted in the database on our website.
 

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During certification
 

When will I receive the certificate?

As soon as the audit required for certification has been completed and the audit report has been approved by us, you will receive the certificate.


How is the Allergy Seal of Quality displayed on the packaging?

The Allergy Seal of Quality should generally be printed in colour (green dot, white aha! lettering, and blue frame) on the packaging. For packaging printed in one colour, the Allergy Seal of Quality can be used in black and white on request. You will receive the corresponding print templates from us. All packaging must be released by us.


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After certification


How long is the certificate valid?

The certificate is valid for 3 years and 2 months.

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What changes to the product do I have to notify to Service Allergie Suisse?

We must be informed of all changes to the product (recipe, packaging, claims, unintentional mixing, item number), allergen management, and the production and packaging process.

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How should I proceed if something changes in my product?

Contact us so that we can send you the change request form. In the amendment application, you can tell us about any changes, and you can see which additional documents you need to submit to us.

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A certified product is no longer produced. What do I have to do?

Please inform us as soon as you can.

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How do I proceed if I want to have a comparable product certified (e.g. a different flavour)?

You can proceed in the same way as for all other products and send us an application for certification. If the product is comparable, the auditor can also submit a request for a document audit.

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When can I start selling the product with the Allergy Seal of Quality?

As soon as you receive the valid certificate, you are allowed to sell the product with the Allergy Seal of Quality.

 

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Audit

Does Service Allergie Suisse carry out the audit?

No. The audit is carried out by an independent accredited audit body recognised by us.
 

Can I choose which audit body I work with?

You can decide for yourself which audit body you would like to work with. However, it must be an accredited audit body, and the auditor must be accredited for the corresponding product/service group area (scope). In addition, every auditor who audits for Service Allergie Suisse must be recognised by us. We train the auditors to be able to carry out audits for the Allergy Seal of Quality.
 

How often do I have to have an audit carried out?

Once certified, products and services are subject to regular inspection. This means: a surveillance audit is carried out once a year, and a re-audit takes place every three years. Service Allergie Suisse is also entitled to conduct quality control checks at the plants where the product is manufactured at any time and without prior notice.

  • Year 0: certification audit
  • Year 1: surveillance audit
  • Year 2: surveillance audit
  • Year 3: re-audit
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Can I carry out the audit for the Allergy Seal of Quality during another audit (e.g. BRC, IFS Food)?

You can schedule and conduct the Allergy Seal of Quality audit during another audit.



Does the product to be certified have to be produced during the audit?

In principle, it is advantageous and desirable that the product is produced during the audit. This is not always possible with unannounced audits. Whether it is possible to conduct a meaningful audit if the product is not manufactured at the time of the audit is the responsibility of the auditor.


Do the audits always have to take place on site?

In general, all audits must take place on site. Technical products and textiles are an exception. A document audit is possible for these two product groups.
 

Can a re-audit be brought forward so that all products have the same duration?

You can bring forward the re-audit if you want a uniform term for all certified products of a company. Please contact us.

 

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