The IFS Food Standard is a GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) recognized standard for auditing food manufacturers. The focus is on food safety and the quality of processes and products. It concerns food processing companies and companies that pack loose food products.
IFS Food applies when products are “processed” or when there is a hazard for product contamination during primary packing. The Standard is important for all food manufacturers, especially for those producing private labels, as it contains many requirements related to the compliance with customer specifications.
The Standard supports the production and marketing departments in their efforts for brand safety and quality. IFS Food has been developed with full and active involvement of certification bodies, retailers, food industry and food service companies.
Key features of the IFS Food version 7
- The risk-based approach identifies company-specific risks and hazards
- The non-prescriptive approach allows for custom solutions to meet standard requirements
- Accepted by retailers and brand owners worldwide
- Requirements developed by food industry experts, certification bodies, and retailers
- Covers legislation, food safety and quality, and customer specifications
- Assessments by specifically trained auditors with proven knowledge and expertise of the industry sector
- Options for unannounced assessments
- Available in 5 languages
- Product and process certification based on ISO/IEC 17065:2012
- Mandatory GLN for companies in the EEA and UK: click here for more information
What is involved?
IFS Food version 7 covers six primary areas of the business, and all are considered key to establishing effective processes that guarantee the safety and quality of the products.
- Governance and Commitment – review of the commitment of senior management to support the sustainability of the food safety culture and quality assurance policy.
- Food Safety and Quality Management System – required to meet legal and food safety requirements as well as customer specifications.
- Resource Management – management of human resources, working conditions, hygiene, and sanitation to ensure product safety.
- Operational Processes – production of safe, quality products according to customer specifications.
- Measurements, Analysis and Improvements – inspections, process validation, and management of complaints and corrective actions.
- Food Defence Plan – protection of the integrity of the company and products produced.
Benefits of being IFS Food certified
- The IFS risk-based approach enables individual risk assessments and creates a focus on the areas of importance to the unique processes of each company.
- The system drives continuous improvement: The IFS Scoring System indicates how an assessed business can further improve its performance helping to reach the next level in product safety and quality assurance management.
- The non-prescriptive approach allows custom-made solutions: It enables companies to determine methods for controlling hazards that are best suited to their unique conditions.
- The requirements reduce operating costs and increase efficiency: By implementing the IFS requirements, companies improve their processes reducing waste and costs related to recalls, complaints, or rejected products and rework.
- IFS Certification grows sales: Certified companies retain existing customers and gain new ones with IFS. They show that they meet customer’s expectations regarding
product safety and quality and that they are a trustworthy business partner.
IFS support to certified businesses
- IFS Guidelines help with practical information about specific technical topics
- IFS Training Courses provide skills and knowledge for implementing our standards. They are available at our official regional training centres.
- The IFS Database informs about supplier performance and the latest IFS news
- The IFS Audit Manager App enables easy planning and performing of internal audits on a mobile device
- The IFS Trend Risk Monitor is part of the IFS Database. It supports risk management by analysing recalls and food safety issues in the supply chain
IFS Food 7 - how to successfully pass the assessment
The book addresses quality managers, internal auditors, auditors, consultants, and trainers and provides a better understanding of the IFS Food version 7 requirements and how to implement them. Miroslav has chosen a unique approach by taking the readers through the IFS Food version 7 requirement by requirement. Many non-conformities and deviations examples are based on experiences from IFS Food certification assessments across the globe. With this practical approach, readers will be prepared excellently for their next IFS Assessment.
IFS Food 7 compact and understandable
This compact booklet is intended for managers and employees responsible for implementing and fulfilling the IFS Food version 7 requirements. It contains easy-to-understand and practical descriptions and illustrations. The booklet helps managers explain to their colleagues on the work floor what is expected of them, how to act in certain situations and comply with the IFS Requirements. In their daily work, the employees on the work floor are the decisive factor for the correct implementation of the food safety measures. Only if they understand the requirements correctly they can identify with them and act accordingly. The booklet increases the awareness and responsibility for the implementation of the requirements. This booklet is available in the following languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Polish and Chinese.
Create more awareness for the KO criteria in your business
Understanding and awareness of the 10 KO-criteria of IFS Food are essential for our certified businesses. If a company hasn’t sufficiently implemented them, it will not receive the IFS Certificate.
But how can you raise awareness among your quality management and production staff? This poster developed by Lehrke Verlag and IFS gives you a hand. It shortly describes the KO requirements in an easy-to-understand way. Simply download the poster and put it on the notice board in your company. It will increase awareness among your staff and contribute to a vivid food safety culture in your company.
The 10 IFS KOs poster in various languages is a free service for IFS-certified sites.