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.
The IFS Food Standard is used to audit food manufacturers regarding food safety and quality of processes and products. The list of requirements is organized in the following topics:
- Senior management responsibility
- Quality and food safety management system
- Resource management
- Planning and production process
- Measurements, analysis, improvements
- Food Defense
- To establish a common Standard with a uniform evaluation system
- To work with accredited certification bodies and qualified auditors approved for IFS Food,
- To ensure comparability and transparency throughout the entire supply chain,
- To reduce costs and time for both manufacturers and retailers.
IFS Food 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,
- 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 certificate to demonstrate compliance with the highest standards.