IFS Cash & Carry

Guidelines to Application and Inspection of IFS Cash & Carry

Notes on the Application and Inspection of IFS Food in
the Wholesale Trade:


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Chapter 1 of the IFS: Company Accountability

The requirements apply to the entire company and are also to be applied to the field of handling of unpacked goods. In the case of companies with a branch structure and central headquarters, control of each branch is to be checked centrally and must also be capable of verification in the branch itself.

Chapter 2 of the IFS: The Quality Management System

HACCP In its presentation of handling the HACCP concept must distinguish between the handling of unpacked products and logistical activities applicable to packed goods. The scope of the documentation and of the incoming-inspection system must correspond to that of the (less extensive) processing level.

Chapter 3 of the IFS: Resources Management

In the training concept the differentiated consideration of the risks involved in the handling of unpacked goods and in logistical treatment (dry assortment) has been demonstrated. The basic training obligation derives from Supplement 2 of (EC) Regulation No. 852/2004 on food hygiene. Moreover the statutory training requirements for the handling of readily perishable products (Article1, Section §4 of the Food Hygiene Regulation) and the obligation of instruction in accordance with Section §43 of the Infection Prevention Law apply.

On the basis of the risk analysis, the hygiene concepts can be distinctly presented in terms of activity and area of work (protective clothing, hands hygiene, utilization of gloves).

Chapter 4 of the IFS: Manufacturing Processes

Contract Inspection: In the wholesale trade conclusion of contract usually takes place at the time at which the customer makes the purchase on site, or at the time of delivery. Checking of the contract occurs at the same time. In such cases concrete instructions for contract inspection cannot be applied (must be justified at the time of inspection).

Specifications: In the fresh-food areas of the wholesale self-service trade the personnel must be able to provide information on the specifications. In the dry areas end products only are handled, specifications for raw materials and semi-finished products generally not being required.

Recipes: As long as no processing of products takes place, and therefore no recipe is needed, this criterion does not apply (NA, must be justified).

Product Development: Product development does not normally apply to the handling of products (NA, must be justified).

Procurement: In the wholesale self-service trade purchase takes place primarily via purchasing organizations of the company. Manufacturers who deliver goods to the purchasing organizations are regarded as suppliers in terms of the IFS. The requirements of the IFS must be seen in the context of the stepwise accountability of the trade. The criteria for choice of suppliers depend on the quality policy of the given company (e.g. as regards the requirements specified for certification).

Risk of Foreign Bodies, Metal, Broken Glass and Wood: In the dry areas there is usually no risk of impairment due to foreign bodies. In areas with unpacked goods, risk-related minimization strategies must be implemented in accordance with the IFS requirements. Special attention must be paid, in this connection, to endangerment due to breakage of glass. As long as no processing takes place, detector devices are often unnecessary (must be justified).

Transport: If the wholesaler is also responsible for the delivery of finished products, the transport requirements must be satisfied. If no transport service is undertaken, such criteria are not applicable (NA, must be justified).

Process Validation: As long as no processing of raw materials takes place, and no reworking in accordance with specific recipes, the criteria applicable to validation of such processes are not applicable (NA, must be justified).

Retraceability: In the wholesale trade, retraceability to the customer must be ensured. The retraceability need not be exact down to the batch details. The company must, however, explain reasonably the connection between the incoming goods and the goods delivered to the customer. This must remain verifiable.

Allergens: In those fields handling packed products, no risks associated with carry-overs of allergens need be anticipated. In the handling of open goods there can be a risk of transfer of allergens via the surface areas (e.g. bread, cakes and pastries with sesame seeds). In connection with handling activities over and above those referred to in section §3, no.3 of LFBG (e.g. marinating), there can be an increased risk of transfer of allergens.

Chapter 5 of the IFS:

Process Control, Calibration: In view of compliance with the cold chain, the criteria are particularly relevant.

Laboratory Analyses: In the field of handling of packed goods, the need for laboratory analyses is not given or is not applicable (NA, must be justified). The necessity of laboratory analyses in connection with the handling of unpacked goods must be presented in a risk analysis.

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