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IFS – International Featured Standard

The development of the IFS is based on the ever-rising demands of consumers, the increasing liabilities of retailers and wholesalers, the increasing legal requirements and the globalization of product supplies. All of these points made it essential to develop a uniform quality assurance and food safety standard.

WHAT IS International Featured Standards - IFS FOOD?

The IFS Food Standard is one of the Standards belonging to the umbrella brand IFS (International Featured Standards). It is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized 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 standard contains many requirements related to specifications compliance and it supports production and marketing efforts for brand safety and quality. The 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.

Food processing companies or companies that pack loose food products can apply for IFS Food certification.

What Products Are Covered?

IFS Food is a standard for auditing food safety and quality of processes and products of manufacturers. It concerns food processing companies or companies that pack loose food products.

IFS Food is a Standard for auditing food product suppliers/ manufacturers and only concerns food processing companies or companies that pack loose food products. IFS Food shall be used when a product is ‘processed’ or when there is a hazard for product contamination during the primary packing. IFS Food includes requirements about the following six topics: Senior management responsibility, Quality and food safety management systems, Resource management, Production process, Measurements, analysis, improvements and Food defense. IFS approach is risk-based. The requirements give every company the chance to develop their own solution which fits the processes and needs of the company. During the audit the IFS auditors check if the developed solution works in practice with the main goal to guarantee that food safety will be reached. IFS Food Standard Version 6 has been re-benchmarked by GFSI and has achieved recognition against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition. IFS Food version 6 gives more weight to quality criteria in addition to food safety criteria. It also covers the packaging issue and the risk of contamination of food by packaging.

What are the objectives of the International Food Standard?

The basic objectives of the International Food Standard are:

  • to establish a common standard with a uniform evaluation system,
  • to work with accredited certification bodies and well-qualified and approved auditors,
  • to ensure comparability and transparency throughout the entire supply chain,
  • to reduce costs and time for both suppliers and retailers.