What Food Safety and Compliance Certifications Do I Need?

What Food Safety and Compliance Certifications Do I Need?

Are you in the process of launching a new business venture? Congratulations! If you’re interested in producing and selling food, you likely already know there are specific food safety and compliance certifications that you must obtain. But, with all the information out there, it can be tough to know where to start. 

We’re here to help with information about all the credentials you need and where you can find the best materials for your business that are up to code. 

What is Food Safety and Compliance?

Food safety and compliance is a set of regulations and certifications that ensure food is manufactured and marketed under safe and sanitary conditions. This is done through routine surveillance inspections. 

Official food inspectors make sure that food is pure, safe to eat, and properly labeled according to food safety laws and regulations. Their goal is to keep people safe and prevent food supply contamination. 

What is GFSI?

GFSI (the Global Food Safety Initiative) is an independently-reviewed organization establishing standards and certifications to regulate food safety. GFSI helps provide companies and consumers with confidence that food is grown, produced, packaged, shipped, and sold safely.

Every day, GFSI continues to develop new ways to improve food safety and standards, ensuring unbiased reporting and accountability. Plus, this agency established the food safety certification FSSC 22000 to govern food quality in a comprehensive, effective, and versatile way for different industries. 

Types of Food Safety and Compliance Certifications

If your business involves food, you are eligible to obtain food safety and compliance certifications. We’ve provided a list of certificates your business may need to incorporate to help maintain quality standards. 

ISO 22000 FSMS

ISO 22000 FSMS provides assurance within the food supply chain at the national and international levels. This certification is available to all types of food suppliers.

Some of the benefits of receiving the ISO 22000 FSMS certification include:

  • Reduction of exposure to risk
  • Improved food safety
  • Ability to identify, prevent, and control food hazards
  • Ability to build a flexible food safety management system within your organization
  • Improved monitoring and measurement of food safety performance
  • Food safety legal compliance

FSSC 22000

The FSSC 22000 food safety certification aims to control food safety risks. FSSC (Food Safety Management Certification Scheme) provides structured plans and systems for managing food safety risks and safe products. 

The FSSC Food Safety Certification is widely accepted and recognized as a trustworthy certification worldwide. It fulfills all the Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI) benchmark requirements and applies to the food, feed, and food packaging manufacturing and supplying sectors.

Some of the benefits of receiving the FSSC Food Safety Certification include:

  • Improved risk management by creating an environment allowing safe product production
  • Continual management, monitoring, validation, and improvement in the system
  • Increased market reach
  • Consistent quality offerings
  • Increased operational efficiency


HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is similar to other food safety management standards because it demonstrates strong ethics, healthy food practices, and a commitment to providing safe food for your customers. 

The HACCP Certification is designed to prevent microbiological, chemical, and physical contamination in food supply and production. It’s unique because it follows an evidence-based approach, thus enhancing its efficiency and accuracy. 

Some of the benefits of receiving the HACCP certification include:

  • Ability to identify food risks
  • Ability to establish critical control points and set critical limits
  • Ability to fulfill market requirements
  • Control measures are validated, verified, and monitored

BRCGS Food and BRCGS Packaging and Packaging Material

BRCGS (British Retail Consortium Global Standards) was developed to empower manufacturers to fulfill legal obligations efficiently and ensure food safety for their customers. 

The purpose of the BRCGS food standard is to maintain quality, hygiene, and product safety within the food industry. It also focuses on the packaging that is associated with foods. 

Some of the benefits of receiving the BRCG food standard include:


FAMI–QS is a certification offered by the well-recognized Quality and Feed Safety Management System. This certification focuses on the feed ingredients added to animal products that may or may not carry any nutritional value. These ingredients could affect the characteristics of the original product, as well as the performance. The goal of the FAMI–QS certification is to measure and monitor the safety of and quality of feed additives. 

Some of the benefits of receiving the FAMI–QS certification include:

  • Increased hygiene 
  • Improved product production traceability
  • Improved risk management
  • Improved safety and quality of the product production
  • Increased cost efficiency
  • Minimized time and effort during production


SQF (Safe Quality Food) is a certification offered by GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). The accreditation provides standardized safety requirements for food manufacturers and suppliers. It also demonstrates a business’s compliance with international and domestic food safety regulations, assuring suppliers and customers that their food is high-quality and produced with healthy and standardized practices. 

Some of the benefits of receiving the SQF certification include:

  • Enhanced process management 
  • Improved ability to identify and manage risks
  • Global recognition
  • Increased business opportunities
  • Reduction of waste


The AIB (American Institute of Baking-food) provides food safety certifications, audits, inspections, and educational seminars for the food manufacturing and distributing industries. The purpose of the AIB certification is increased quality assurance and food safety. 

Some of the benefits of receiving the AIB certification include:

  • Increased ability to identify, reduce, eliminate, and prevent food hazards
  • Prevention of damage
  • Reduction of waste
  • Improved ability to maintain a healthy environment for food management

Invest in Bags That Are Food Safety and Compliance Certified

Now that you know all the ins and outs of food safety and compliance certifications, it’s time to invest in the perfect bags for your product. A-Pac Manufacturing is proud to hold the FSSC 22000 certification and GFSI recognition. This means we can guarantee our product quality for food industry applications, and better serve our customers with exceptional poly bags for all their needs. 

What are you waiting for? Contact us at A-Pac Manufacturing today! We specialize in producing high-quality bags for small businesses that follow food safety standards. Give us a call today!

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Custom Plastic Bag Manufacturers: Who They Are & What They Do

Custom Plastic Bag Manufacturers: Who They Are & What They Do

Custom plastic bag manufacturers are a powerful resource for businesses looking to advertise, brand themselves, and protect their products from damage. Customization options include printing, embossing, labeling, or even designing a completely custom bag to fit your needs. 

You may be wondering what sorts of industries might need customized plastic bags. The answer is — pretty much anyone who sells anything! From retailers and e-commerce stores to grocery stores and shipping companies: if you have products to carry around, then you probably need something to carry them in.

Why Should You Order Custom Plastic Bags Instead of Generic Blank Ones?

Custom plastic bags are designed to suit the specific needs of your product. And, when you work with a custom plastic bag manufacturer you trust, your poly bags can be customized to fit the shape of your product. What’s more, when you order custom plastic bags with your company logo or company name, they will help people remember your business when they see them in their homes or on their desks at work. This is a great way to build brand awareness with your customer base — helping to solidify your brand in the minds of current customers, while also helping to expose your brand to new markets. 

The second reason to go with a custom manufacturer is that you get what you want. Depending on the type of product or service you sell, there may be some specific features that are important for the packaging of your product or its storage after purchase (for example, if you sell fragile items). A generic blank plastic bag won’t have these features, but those can be included with a custom one!

Get the Bags You Need, No Matter the Shape, Size, or Thickness.

Custom bags are made to fit the needs of your business, so you’re sure to get the best bang for your buck. You can get custom bags in any size, shape, or thickness needed to fit your product. For example:

  • If you have a large item that needs to be shipped from one place to another, it makes sense to invest in a strong bag. A standard 14-inch by 18-inch bag may not provide enough protection for this kind of shipment and could be easily damaged during transit. Instead, consider using a plastic bag made from thick polyethylene film, which is highly durable and tear-resistant.
  • If you sell small items such as cookies or gummies, these can easily fit into an 8-inch by 10-inch rectangular-shaped plastic bag with no problems! This type of custom product will protect them while ensuring they stay fresh until they reach their destination.

Custom Plastic Bag Manufacturers Offer Labeling and Branding Options

To remain competitive in today’s retail market, offering your customers something unique is essential. One way you can accomplish this is by creating a branded plastic bag that stands out from the competition. Custom printed bags are an excellent way to do this because they allow you to create a design specifically for your business and customers.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to designing your custom bag, here are some tips:

  • Build a unique design that matches your company’s branding, including your logo and colors.
  • Include relevant words or phrases: “Thanks for shopping!” 
  • Stand out with bright colors or an attractive design. 
  • Get creative with outreach — include your website URL, social media info, or even a custom QR code. 

Custom Poly Bag Manufacturers Often Don’t Require a Minimum Order Quantity

While researching plastic bag manufacturers, you’ll likely find that most larger manufacturers require a minimum order quantity. This practice is common among businesses that sell products or services in bulk and want to keep their inventory costs down.

A minimum order quantity is the smallest quantity in which a company will make your custom bags. This can be an important factor to consider when choosing a plastic bag manufacturer, as it can affect both your price and the number of bags you’ll be able to get in a single purchase.

For example, if you want 100 custom-printed plastic shopping bags, but a larger manufacturer has a minimum quantity of 1,000 units, it’s inconvenient, and probably expensive, for you to order that complete 1,000 units. A custom poly bag manufacturer will likely be able to provide that smaller order you need, which means you don’t have to worry about room for storage, or paying for more than what you need. 

Get the High-Quality Poly Bags You Need

Looking for poly bags in a custom size or in a smaller order quantity? A-Pac Manufacturing is your fast, local custom plastic bag manufacturer. We’re here to deliver the bags you need, in the quantities you need, on your schedule. No minimum order quantity. 

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Is a Resin Shortage Still Affecting Poly Bag Lead Times?

Is a Resin Shortage Still Affecting Poly Bag Lead Times?

The pandemic has had a huge impact on manufacturers from a variety of industries, including the poly bag industry. The good news is some have been adapting to the changes and improving procedures so that they can continue to provide their customers with high-quality products. 

How are manufacturers responding differently now? What are some specific ways we’ve changed or improved the processes since COVID-19 started? And most importantly, is there still any risk of lead times being impacted by resin shortages? Let’s dive into all three questions below!

What Caused the Resin Shortage?

Since the beginning of 2018, China has experienced an economic slowdown. The Chinese government has been trying to prevent an economic collapse by encouraging companies to move their manufacturing operations out of China and into other countries where labor costs are lower (like Malaysia). As a result, the largest supplier of resin in the world — China — has halted production.

Additionally, global demand for packaging materials has increased significantly due to an increase in consumer spending and new regulations on plastic waste disposal around the world (for example: France recently banned all disposable plastic bags). 

Many poly bag manufacturers were unable to meet this surge in demand for their products and experienced a significant drop-off in production. As a result, supply fell far below what retailers needed to keep up with customer demand.

How Can We Avoid Shortages and Delays in the Future?

The best way for the industry to avoid shortages like these in the future is to invest in recycling, renewable energy, and R&D (research and development). It’s also important for each of us to do our part and reduce waste. 

Proper recycling can result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less energy being used during production. It also helps keep materials circulating within our economy instead of being buried in landfills where they cannot decompose naturally for decades or centuries!

The goal of R&D is to reduce costs and improve efficiency in production through technological advancement and process restructuring. This can be done by reducing waste products, which can then be recycled or used in other ways. It can also be done by improving the transportation process for materials needed.

One recent research and development improvement is the addition of plant-based polymers to traditional poly bags, which helps to increase the biodegredation process if bags are not properly recycled. These greener poly bags are one great R&D step towards a safer, more environmentally friendly, and more stable poly bag industry. 

Are Manufacturers Responding Differently to the Resin Shortage Now?

There are always external forces at play that can affect resin supply, such as natural disasters or market instabilities. More broadly, the industry has learned some important lessons about how to deal with unexpected crises. 

Larger manufacturers, in particular, are now taking a hard look at their processes and looking for ways to make them more efficient—for example, by investing in new technology or reducing waste on production lines. 

They’re also reevaluating their supplier relationships and ensuring they have multiple sources lined up so they won’t be left stranded if one manufacturer stops producing material due to unforeseen circumstances — like hurricanes or pandemics. But some in the industry are still struggling to adapt and are forced to learn what happens if you are too set in your ways.

A-Pac Manufacturing is proud to deliver some of the shortest lead times in the industry. As a small, custom manufacturer, we’re much more nimble than massive corporations. Much like the large ship analogy, it is easier for us to adjust our course and stay flexible as the industry continues to change. 

We’re able to manufacture the custom bags you need at no minimum order and according to your schedule, and we’re proud to have maintained our short lead times despite the recent shortage. For the bags you want, when you want them, give the A-Pac Manufacturing team a call.

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The Best Packaging Solutions for Small Parts

The Best Packaging Solutions for Small Parts

If your business sells or deals with small parts on a regular basis, you’ll need an effective packaging solution to store, transport, and display them. When it comes to small parts packaging, the two leading options to consider are plastic containers and plastic (poly) bags. So, in this article, we’ll be reviewing the features and advantages of each option to help you determine which one is right for your business.

Plastic Containers for Small Parts Packaging

Plastic containers come in a wide variety of shapes including round, square, barrel, clamshell, and specialty dimensions. Round, square, and barrel containers are good for bulk quantities; with screw-top lids for easy access and reusability. Clamshell containers, on the other hand, are better in situations that call for permanently-sealed small quantities (e.g. retail). 

At around 12 mil, plastic containers are thicker than plastic bags. And, unlike poly bags, the firm yet flexible plastic — which is typically polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or HDPE — holds its shape, providing more protection for the contents. 

Advantages of Plastic Containers

Strength & Durability — As mentioned above, plastic containers provide a very high degree of protection. The durable polyethylene plastic serves as an effective barrier against dirt, dust, moisture, and other contaminants. The same can be said for poly bags — however, plastic containers’ rigidity grants additional protection against impacts, pressure, and punctures (especially for products with sharp edges/corners). Of course, that added protection comes at a cost, so plastic containers are really best for parts that need that added barrier. Otherwise, poly bags are likely the more suitable option. 

Reusable Bulk Storage — Plastic containers are lightweight yet rigid and durable, making them an excellent option for storing small parts in bulk. Since plastic containers often feature screw-top lids, they can be used continuously, providing quick-and-easy access to the contents within.

Shelf Appeal — Compared to poly bags, plastic containers can have more shelf appeal in the eyes of some consumers. So, if you’re selling small parts in a retail setting and you’re striving to position your products as top-tier, plastic clamshell containers may be preferable.

Plastic (Poly) Bags for Small Parts Packaging

Poly bags are made from thin plastic tubing or sheeting and can be ordered in virtually any dimensions. Small parts bags are often made from Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) — although some bags may use High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The typical thickness for small parts bags ranges from ½ mil up to 6 mil — with 4+ mil generally being reserved for sharp objects like screws and nails that pose an increased puncture risk.

Advantages of Plastic Bags for Small Parts Packaging

Cost-Effective – Poly bags are an extremely economical packaging solution. This is largely due to the low costs of plastic production compared to other materials. For example, plastic costs 20x less to produce than paper or cloth. And, since poly bags use less material and are simpler to manufacture, they cost even less than plastic containers.

Efficient – Wicketed poly bags (which are seamlessly dispensed from a wicket wire) can be paired with an automated packaging system to enable rapid, efficient bagging. This streamlined bagging process can save time while also reducing packaging costs.

Lightweight & Compact – Poly bags are inherently thin and flat, making them very lightweight and compact in large quantities. This can be a significant advantage during storage and shipping. For example, if your business uses a high volume of packaging, plastic bags will take up far less space in your shop or storage facility than plastic containers.

Versatile & Customizable — Given the versatility of polyethylene plastic, poly bags are highly customizable. In addition to coming in virtually any size, small parts bags can be customized with logos, colors, special sealing options, and additives to modify the clarity, texture, and overall appearance. This will enable you to achieve the exact look and feel to match your brand.

Short Production Times — If you’re interested in ordering custom small parts bags, you won’t have to wait long to receive them: some poly bag manufacturers can fulfill custom orders in just 2-3 weeks. *Here at A-Pac Manufacturing, we take pride in our ability to offer quick turnaround times on custom orders. 

Custom Poly Bag Manufacturing

If your business needs to store and transport small parts, poly bags are an ideal packaging solution. At A-Pac Manufacturing, we provide customized small parts bags in the quantities you need, when you need them. Contact our team to learn more about our poly bag options and customization capabilities.

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What Certifications Are Needed to Manufacture Plastic Bags?

What Certifications Are Needed to Manufacture Plastic Bags?

Partnering with a supplier is a substantial business commitment. As such, it’s important to review suppliers’ certifications when evaluating options. Among other things, certifications demonstrate a manufacturer’s commitment to quality, safety, and legal compliance.

On that note, if your business relies on (or is in need of) a poly bag supplier, you may be wondering which certifications apply to the plastic bag manufacturing process. To shed some light on the subject, in this article we’ll explain the three types of certifications that we hold here at A-Pac Manufacturing, and why those certifications are important to you.

Government Approval: FDA & USDA

To protect consumers and verify products are safe to use, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rigorously examine chemicals and materials to assess toxicity and other potential risk factors. In regard to plastic bag manufacturing, a common objective of the FDA review process is to determine if a plastic and its chemical ingredients are safe and suitable for food packaging. If so, it will qualify as “food-grade.”

The plastic is tested in a variety of conditions to ensure it’s not affected by temperature change, moisture, oil, other chemicals, etc. If the plastic and its ingredients/additives pass all tests and safety standards, it can then receive FDA approval. However, for plastic packaging to be deemed food-grade in its final form, it must still meet two other sets of certification requirements (which we’ll now discuss below).

Quality Management Certification: ISO 9001

Founded in 1947 and active in 165 countries, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a well-known and respected global standard-setting body. One of the most popular ISO standards is the ISO 9000 family, which pertains to quality management.

The ISO 9001 certification (part of the ISO 9000 family) establishes a quality management model to help businesses achieve — and consistently maintain — a high degree of quality in their products and services. The ISO 9001 quality management model is very applicable to the plastic bag manufacturing process. However, it can be implemented by virtually any organization dedicated to pursuing superior quality standards — regardless of size or industry.

To earn an ISO 9001 certificate, an organization will be evaluated across the following seven quality management categories:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Engagement of people
  • Process approach
  • Continuous improvement
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

Why is ISO 9001 Relevant to Plastic Bag Manufacturing?

In the context of plastic bag manufacturing, recall from above that a common objective is to obtain a food-grade status. To qualify as food-grade, plastic must not only be made from approved materials and ingredients — it must also be manufactured in a safe, clean facility…and that’s where the ISO quality management standards come into play. Most food-grade plastic manufacturers must comply with ISO 9000 as the minimum operating standard.

Food Safety Certification: FSSC 22000

In addition to FDA/USDA approval and the ISO 9001, there’s a third certification that further confirms the safety of food-grade plastic: the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000). 

Developed by the Global Food Safety Initiative — an independent standard-setting organization for food safety — the FSSC 22000 provides a comprehensive set of stringent food safety standards to guide the entire food product lifecycle, from production to purchase. As such, it extends far beyond plastic bag manufacturing to include any company in the food supply chain (farming/agriculture, meat products, animal feed, food ingredients, food packaging, etc.).

Since we’ve already touched on the ISO 9001, it’s worth noting that the FSSC 22000 certification is not entirely separate from ISO standards. Rather, the FSSC 22000 is simply an expansion of ISO’s food safety management system: the ISO 22000 (which works together with ISO 9001 quality management standards). When paired together, the ISO 9001 and FSSC 22000 form a powerful combination to establish superior levels of safety and quality.

The Benefits of Quality and Safety Certifications for the Manufacture of Plastic Bags

When companies are held to high standards, everyone wins. Certifications like the ISO 9001 and FSSC 22000 lead companies to produce better, safer products — ultimately protecting consumers and fostering trust within business-to-business relationships. Furthermore, maintaining such certifications helps companies stay compliant with legislation and grants them access to a wider international market.

At A-Pac Manufacturing, we’re proud to hold FDA/USDA, ISO, and FSSC certifications. These certificates are a reflection of our dedication to providing safe, dependable, high-quality products to our customers. If you’re interested in ordering poly bags, plastic liners, or plastic film and tubing, we’re happy to help you find an ideal solution. Give us a call or contact us online today.


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Poly Bag vs. Cello Bag Packaging

Poly Bag vs. Cello Bag Packaging

You know you want packaging that provides a clear view of your product, but which clear plastic option is right for your application? To answer this, you’ll first need to understand the difference between cello (cellophane) and poly (polypropylene) bags. 

Poly Bag vs. Cello Bag Packaging: Which Is Right for You? 

Poly bags and cello bags are two different types of plastic bag packaging options. While they may not seem all that different at first glance, there are some key distinctions between the two. Let’s explore them below, as well as their pros and cons, so you can get a better idea of which may be best for your specific use. 

Poly Bag Packaging — Pros

The high clarity of poly bag packaging allows for clear visibility of your product, but because polypropylene is thick, it protects the product from damage, moisture, vapors and dust — every retailer’s arch nemesis — very well. 

Polypropylene comes in a variety of thicknesses, which allows it to offer a wider range of applications, including the ability to package heavier items like tools and furniture. But perhaps the most popular use of poly bags is packaging food — and it’s easy to see why!

Poly bags are strong and durable, yet flexible, which makes them tear resistant — a key factor in protecting the food they contain. They also provide moisture and odor barriers that prevent evaporation and exposure to bacteria, preserving freshness and taste and extending shelf life. In fact, because poly bags are not as breathable as cello bags, they are able to keep food products fresher for longer.

Lastly, poly bags don’t cost much to produce, making them a cost-effective solution without sacrificing clarity and quality. 

Poly Bag Packaging — Cons

Though they are recyclable, poly bags consist of man-made materials, and only some types are fully biodegradable. 

However, technological advances have resulted in the creation of eco-friendly, plant-based poly bags that combine organic materials with the synthetic ones typically used. This makes today’s poly bags not only a practical option, but a sustainable one as well. 

Cello Bag Packaging — Pros

Cellophane is a thin and clear material made from organic cellulose, which is found in the cell walls of green plants. This makes cello bags biodegradable, a characteristic more and more companies are starting to prioritize. 

Translucent in appearance with a crackly feel, cello bags are great for showing off your product and ideal for wrapping things like flower bouquets, gift baskets, or small food items like candies, nuts, popcorn, and chocolate. 

In fact, cello bags are often used for food packaging because of their low permeability to moisture, bacteria, oils, greases, and air. The material does not affect the flavor of the food product within it, and the non-porous properties of cello bags contain odors and preserve freshness, at least for a short period of time. 

Cello Bag Packaging — Cons

Because cellophane is such a breathable material, it can shorten the shelf life of some products, making it a less beneficial choice for long-term food storage needs. It doesn’t have much shelf life itself, either, before it starts to become discolored.

Also, the thinness of cellophane makes it susceptible to tearing, and it tends to be pricey to produce (which means pricey to purchase!). 

The Verdict: Poly Bags Just Might be Perfect For Your Needs!

At A-Pac Manufacturing, poly bags are our speciality. We offer durable, quality bags in the custom sizes, and quantities you need, as well as the branding elements you want. If you’re interested in placing an order for your facility, no matter how big or small, give us a call or contact us online to learn how we can help find the perfect packaging for you.

How to Choose the Right Poly Bag to fit your needs cta