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
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