03. May 2022

What changes and new features are coming

IFS Food Version 8 – first DRAFT version published

Shortly after the deadline for the binding implementation of IFS Food Version 7, IFS announced the revision of the IFS Food Standard in April 2022 and justified this by saying that it is necessary to incorporate the new Codex Alimentarius requirements and the upcoming ISO 22003-2 for product and process standards.

In addition, feedback from stakeholders on version 7 should be taken into account, some requirements should be reassigned to stay closer to the audit trail, the scoring system, especially the B-scoring, has been adapted and it is intended to be more consistent in the wording and to clarify requirements and regulations among other things regarding unannounced audits (especially in case of failed audits).

Changes to be expected in different areas

One of the aims of the revision is to ensure that even more importance is attached to the product and process approach and to follow an audit trail. Consequently the collection of evidences to assess product(s) and related operating processes through risk based selected, representative samples is one of the key elements for conducting the IFS Food Audit. It should be ensured to make a representative selection of products and processes which are included in the certification scope to generate as much information as possible about the production site and its products.

It is also striking that “assessments” are to be renamed “audits” again in the future. The obligation that the certification body is to be informed within 3 working days of changes that could affect the company’s ability to confirm to the certification requirements still exists. Changes are planned in terms of notifications to the IFS Management GmbH. The certification body shall inform the IFS Management GmbH about such information within 3 working days after receipt and shall provide a root cause analysis and an update regarding the progress of the investigation within 10 working day after submitting the information (which has to be sent by filling out the relevant form in the IFS Database).

Addition to an annual revision of the food fraud assessment, the annual - instead of a risk-based - verification of all requirements of the IFS Food Standard as part of internal audits will also be required in future. Chapter 6 Food Defense is to be deleted and integrated into Chapter 4. The adjustments to the Codex Alimentarius, especially with regard to the required validation of the HACCP plan, pose further new challenges for food business operators.

Furthermore the IFS Food Doctrine should be downsized and a new software that simplifies the reporting, especially of the compulsory fields, is introduced.

Feedback on draft requested

At the moment stakeholders are invited to consult on the draft for version 8. After discussing the results of this consultation in the IFS Committees in June, IFS Management GmbH will finalize the new checklist and plan the next steps.

The draft of the IFS Food Version 8 (currently only in English) can be found on the IFS homepage.

Your contact persons

Team

Mr. Wolfgang Leger-Hillebrand

Executive Vice President Sector Management Food Safety

Network partner

Ms. Elisabeth Voltmer

Network partner, Product Expert Trainings Food Safety

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