Continually improve your business with the International Food Standard
IFS (International Food Standard) is a unified standard of food’s safety and quality, which is accepted by the Global Food Safety Initiative and developed to test the competence of food manufacturers in terms of food’s safety and quality, at the same time enabling manufacturers to save their time and money.
IFS is intended mainly for the brands of large retail chains, so it is currently used by nine of the top 10 European retail brands, working together to improve and adapt to the market. This standard is applicable to suppliers at all stages of food processing, except when it comes to agricultural production.
The IFS structure is adapted to the ISO 9001 standard and HACCP, and is also based on Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Hygiene Practice.
According to European and national regulations, all manufacturers or traders with branded foods must have an IFS certificate, which, among other things, enables them:
- Expressing the commitment to delivering safe food of good quality;
- Easier compliance with legal obligations and regulations;
- IFS certification reduces the cost of internal and external checks using a single standard;
- The company’s reputation, brand strength and image of the company are growing;
- The certification process supports continuous improvement through monitoring and corrective measures.
Also, if you have already started implementing the IFS, we can help you complete the entire process more easily and thus get more benefits offered by the International Food Standard.
Each IFS standard has the same basic structure and is divided into two parts: a list of requests (technical checklist) and a check protocol.
1. List of requests (technical check list)
The checklist is different for each standard and contains all the requirements, as well as good practices that must be implemented by the company, if it wants to be certified according to the IFS standard.
The checklist contains about 250 requests, which deal with five basic topics:
- Responsibility of senior management,
- Quality management system,
- Resource management,
- The production process,
- Measurement, analysis, improvement.
2. Check protocol
In this specific chapter, the following topics have been processed:
- The process of auditing or checking, from the initial request of the company until the issuance of the IFS certificate,
- Evaluation and scoring system;
- Frequency of check (mostly once a year);
- Types of verification (initial, verification of certificate renewal and control checks);
- Selection of the certification body and contracting;
- Requirements for issuing certificates.