IFS Food is a GFSI recognised standard for auditing food safety and quality of processes and products of food manufacturers. It concerns food processing companies or 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 IFS Food Standard is important for all food manufacturers, especially those producing private labels, because it contains many requirements related to specifications’ compliance.
It supports production and marketing efforts for brand safety and quality.
IFS Food standard version 6 has been developed with full and active involvement of certification bodies, retailers, industry and food service companies from all over the world.
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- The objectives of the IFS Food are:
- To establish a common standard with a uniform evaluation system
- To work with accredited certifi cation bodies and qualifi ed IFS approved auditors
- To ensure comparability and transparency throughout the entire supply chain
- To reduce costs and time for both manufacturers and retailers.
What does the standard cover?
IFS Food is a standard for auditing quality and food safety of processes / products of food manufacturers and includes requirements about the following topics:
- Senior management responsibility
- Quality and food safety management systems
- Resource management
- Production process
- Measurements, analysis, improvements
- Food defence.
Benefits of the scheme
IFS certification can offer a number of key benefits to companies striving for
excellence in quality, food safety and customer satisfaction, and seeking a
competitive advantage in their market place.
Production department benefits:
- Improved understanding between management and staff relating to good
- practices, standards and procedures
- Monitoring of compliance with food regulations
- More effective use of resources
- Reduction in the need for customer audits
- Independent third party audits
- Ability to reduce total audit time by combining multiple audits
- Higher flexibility through individual implementation due to a risk based approach.
Marketing department benefits:
- Improved business reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality and safe products
- Ability to trade with customers requiring third party audits
- Use of the IFS logo and certifi cate to demonstrate compliance with the
- highest standards.
Main changes in the version 6
- A slightly revised scoring system will be implemented to better identify companies implementing best practices
- Clear rules for determining audit duration have been created, based on a pragmatic calculation tool, which will provide the minimum mandatory audit duration to be applied by all certification bodies,
- IFS Integrity Program, which was created in 2010 to monitor performance of certification bodies and of auditors,will be described in the new audit protocol,
- As IFS Food is not only a food safety but also a quality standard, version 6 will include more quality requirements (e.g. nutritional analyses, more requirements on weight control, more requirements on the quality/quantity of information provided on labelling, etc.),
- In order to comply with GFSI Guidance document version 6, food defence requirements will be introduced in IFS Food audit check-list. Exhaustive guidelines will also be developed in order to help companies implement those requirements, based on risk assessment and – most of all – on legislation of destination country.
- IFS auditors will be approved for products and technology scopes. Technology scopes are newly introduced to improve auditors’ expertise even more on products and processes.
Test auditshave been performed during the summer of 2011 in different countries worldwide and in companies producing different kinds of products.IFS Food version 6 is aimed to be published beginning of 2012 for a mandatory implementation 6 months later. If you would like to get more information on the review process, please do not hesitate to contact IFS offices.