05. Oct 2020

Update IFS FOOD V6.1

The new IFS Food Doctrine heralds radical changes

At the end of August 2020, IFS GmbH published the most important updates and interpretations as part of a comprehensive doctrine, published in English, which relates to IFS FOOD V6.1.

Unannounced audits

One of the most challenging changes includes the fact that unannounced audits – at least once every three years – are also mandatory for companies that are not registered for the unannounced audit mode and that amendments regarding outsourced processes must be taken into account.

Updates with regard to the integration of services

Using the example of mobile bottling service providers for wineries, it is explained that it is not possible to certify a company that provides a service. Wineries that use a mobile bottling service and want to include it in the certificate scope must declare this to the certification body and request to organize the IFS audit during the bottling step and audit the mobile service when in operation at the production site. If the audit is unannounced, an extension audit (announced) must be conducted so that this step can be included in the scope of the certificate with precise details of the type of product and activity (e.g. filling of white wine in 0.5 l glass bottles). In addition, the service must be covered by the company's HACCP concept.

Requirements for logistics services via parcel services

It must be ensured that in case of product dispatch by a parcel service the integrity and safety of the product are not impaired and that general terms and conditions are respected. IFS-Logistics certification and a service contract are not explicitly required. However, the company must conduct a risk assessment based on a worst-case scenario and shall implement appropriate monitoring measures.

Updates in process outsourcing

There are simplifications when companies outsource processes: Suppliers of outsourced processes no longer necessarily have to be IFS Food certified themselves, but it is sufficient if they can demonstrate certification according to another food safety standard recognized by the GFSI or if they are approved on the basis of a documented supplier audit conducted by an experienced and competent person including a minimum of requirements for food safety, product quality, legality and authenticity.

Further implications of the new IFS Food doctrine

What is also new is that the COID, the IFS approval number, has to be changed if the company name and / or the address change, even if the general conditions (employees, processes, equipment) remain the same.

The calculation of the minimum audit duration and the definition of the "total number of employees", which are used to calculate the audit duration, are specified. The minimum audit duration shall always be 0.75 days, even for an individual site of a multi-site company and the total number of employees per year refers to all employees, even if they have not (been) employed in the company all year round.

The requirement that an unannounced audit must take place in every company at least once every three years is doubtless one of the most significant changes. It is quite sure that this regulation will also be found in IFS FOOD Version 7. The implementation will be mandatory for all those companies that have decided on the announced audit mode, at least from January 1st, 2021. The publication of version 7 of the IFS is announced until October 6th, 2020.

This means that implementation would be possible from March 1st, 2021 and mandatory from July 1st, 2021.

Practical support

You will also receive practical support within the scope of an in-house workshop of Quality Austria that is tailor-made for your company. For further information, please contact us via e-mail to inhouse@qualityaustria.com or call +43 732 34 23 22-26.

Contact persons


Mr. Stefan Hainzl

Business Development Food Safety


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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