The purpose of the unannounced IFS Food Safety Check is to review whether a company complies with the IFS requirements regarding HACCP, hygiene and pest control in daily operations and thus continuously guarantees food safety and quality as well as product safety and quality. The basis of the IFS Food Safety Checks are selected requirements with particular relevance for the above-mentioned aspects of IFS Food Version 6.1 and the IFS Wholesale Version 2. As proven successful in previous years, the IFS Food Safety Checks are carried out on one-day and without prior notice.
The prerequisite for performing an IFS Food Safety Check is that the company has a valid IFS certificate. The earliest possible time for the registration is given as soon as the documents of the last IFS certification audit have been uploaded into the IFS database. The IFS Food Safety Check program is voluntary.
To guarantee the unannounced character of the IFS Food Safety Checks, the IFS certificate of the company must have a validity of at least 6 months. For this reason, interested companies should register for the IFS Food Safety Check as soon as possible after issuing the IFS certificate by their certification body. In justified individual cases, IFS Management GmbH reserves the right to make changes to the above deadlines in order to enable interested companies to participate.
From 1 March 2019 interested companies can register for an IFS Food Safety Check via their login area here on the IFS website. The retailer information about the IFS Food Safety Check result needs to be individually approved by the company in the same way as for the regular IFS audit results.
The IFS Food Safety Check is planned, carried out and evaluated by IFS Management GmbH. It is carried out independently of the certification body responsible for the IFS certification audit. Auditors who carry out the unannounced IFS Food Safety Checks are commissioned directly by IFS Management GmbH and are not used by certification bodies for IFS Food and IFS Wholesale certification audits. The IFS Food Safety Check can be passed or not passed. A successfully completed IFS Food Safety Check enables companies to demonstrate continuous compliance with the IFS standard requirements in their daily production routine.
Within the framework of the IFS Food Safety Check, photos are taken as objective evidence in the likely event of a not-passed evaluation. The photos remain with IFS Management GmbH for reasons of preservation of evidence and are not uploaded into the IFS database with the visit report. They are therefore not accessible to third parties.
At this point, IFS Management GmbH would like to point out that the German retailers represented in our committees have accepted an announced IFS Food audit in combination with an unannounced IFS Food Safety Check as equivalent to an unannounced IFS Food audit, thus giving many industrial companies the opportunity to return to the well-established announced IFS audit.
Further information about the program (e.g. fact sheets, schedule of fees) can be found in the right column for download.