IFS – International Food Standards

ifs_articleIfs Food Standards are the common internationally accepted audit standards to ensure that Ifs-certified companies can deliver products or services which are in line with the defined specifications of their customers, in order to improve continuously (non) food product safety and quality for the consumers.

Supplier audit for reatilers
Supplier audits have been a permanent feature of retailer’s systems and procedures for many years. Until 2003 they were performed by the quality assurance departments of the individual retailers and wholesalers. The ever-rising demands of consumers, the increasing liabilities of retailers and wholesalers, the increasing of legal requirements and the globalisation of product supply, all made it essential to develop a uniform quality assurance and food safety Standard. Also, a solution had to be found to reduce the time associated with a multitude of audits, for both retailers and suppliers.

German and French members of retail federation
The associated members of the German retail federation – Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels (HDE) – and of its French counterpart – Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution (FCD) – drew up a quality and food safety standard for retailer branded food products, named the Ifs Food, which is intended to allow the assessment of suppliers’ food safety and quality systems, in accordance with a uniform approach. This Standard applies to all the post-farm gate stages of food processing.

Retailers, industry and food service companies from all over the world
Ifs Food applies when products are “processed” or when there is a hazard for product contamination during primary packing. The Ifs Food Standard is important for all food manufacturers, especially those producing private labels, because it contains many requirements related to specifications’ compliance. It supports production and marketing efforts for brand safety and quality. 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.


What does the standard cover?
Ifs Food is a standard for auditing quality and food safety of processes / products of food manufacturers and includes requirements about the following topics:

Senior management responsibility
Quality and food safety management systems
Resource management
Production process
Measurements, analysis, improvements
Food defence

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