Background information on IFS

  • IFS was founded in 2003 under the name International Food Standard. Since then, the company, which is recording annual growth of 10.9 percent, has expanded its range to include six new standards and is active worldwide.
  • All IFS-related is published in five primary languages: German, English, Spanish, French and Italian. IFS aims to provide comparability and transparency for consumers throughout the supply chain and to reduce costs for suppliers and retailers. These goals are implemented not only by the IFS , but also by the IFS Board and the IFS Technical Committee (ITC).
  • 8 standards
  • 16.800 certificates per year
  • 110 bodies
  • 1.150 auditors
  • 90 countries on 4 continents
  • 28 employees
  • Decisions taken by ITC, management, team

What are the standard requirements for IFS?

  • Senior management responsibility
  • Quality and food safety management system
  • Resource management
  • Planning and process
  • Measurements, , improvements
  • Food Defens

IFS assessment and action plan

  • The guidelines of IFS Food and BRC Food correspond to a large extent (about 85%).
  • As shown above, the main difference lies in the way the criteria from the standard are assessed. This also determines the outcome of the : approval or rejection.
  • BRC: within 28 days, provide evidence that the identified shortcoming has been adequately addressed.
  • IFS Food: action plan for year. The frequency of the audits is determined by the result obtained and the class of the product.
  • FSSC from July 1, 2020 within one month deviations resolved.
  • Set up monitoring system to keep up with standards in terms of change in rules. The standard changes every 3-5 years, but the method of assessment may be different quarterly due to doctrines and guidelines

IFS method

  • Within IFS, 10 “knockout criteria” are used. When one of these criteria is not met, the is automatically not certified. These criteria include:
    • control of critical management points;
    • involvement of management and employees;
    • of , raw and packaging materials;
    • implementation of corrective measures.
  • Score: A,B,C,D per item

IFS and outsourced processes

  • You have to have control over the outsourced processes and it has to be documented.
    • So it must be included in your hazard analysis
    • Mentioned in your flow chart
    • There must be a contract or purchasing specifications made with the company concerned.
    • There must be a procedure for supplier assessment and monitoring (you already have this but perhaps you should check that it corresponds to the actual situation).
    • Clear assessment criteria must be included in the procedure. So they must be certified, do you want to have analysis, what do you do if they are not certified that you, for example, perform an audit yourself or have one performed
    • Results of supplier assessment must be checked for possible hazards and , so your suppliers must guarantee the CCPs.
    • The externally produced products must be checked via input control.

IFS Knock Outs

No certificate will be obtained for the following observations:

  • 1.2.4 KO no.1: Management should ensure that employees are aware of their for food safety and quality and that mechanisms are in place to review the effectiveness of their work. Such mechanisms should be clearly described and documented.
  • KO No. 2: Specific monitoring have been established for each CCP to determine whether a CCP is controlled. Records of this monitoring shall be maintained for a relevant period of time. All identified CCPs must be demonstrably controlled. The monitoring and control of each CCP is demonstrable via records. These registrations also specify the person responsible, the dates and the results of the controls.
  • KO no. 3: The for personal are implemented and apply to all relevant employees, third parties and .
  • KO no. 4: Specifications shall be available for all raw materials (raw materials/ingredients, additives, packaging materials, reprocessing). The specifications should be current and unambiguous and should meet all legal obligations and – if applicable – customer requirements.
  • KO no. 5: Where customer agreements exist, with regard to product formulation / recipes and technological requirements, these should be adhered to.
  • 4.12.1 KO no. 6: Based on the hazard analysis and assessment of relevant risks, procedures should be defined and implemented to avoid contamination with foreign objects and materials. Contaminated products should be treated as non-conforming products.
  • 4.18.1 KO no.7: A traceability system shall be in place, which allows identification of product batches in relation to batches of raw materials, packaging in direct with food and packaging intended for direct contact with food or from which direct contact with food can be expected. The traceability system includes all relevant processing and distribution data. Traceability shall be guaranteed and documented until delivery to the customer.
  • 5.1.1 KO no. 8: Effective internal audits must be carried out in accordance with the agreed audit program. This should include all the requirements of the IFS Standard. The scope and frequency of internal audits must be based on a hazard analysis and the assessment of the resulting risks. This also applies to storage outside the factory that are owned or rented by the company.
  • 5.9.2 KO no. 9: There is an effective procedure for taking back products and/or carrying out a recall. This procedure ensures, that the affected customers are informed as soon as possible. This procedure clearly defines the assigned responsibilities.
  • 5.11.2 KO no.10: Corrective actions are clearly formulated, documented and taken as soon as possible to prevent further non-conformities.For each corrective action, responsibilities and time frame are clearly defined. is stored securely and is easily accessible.

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