The IFS Food Version 8 standard was published on April 1, 2023.
Audits will commence from October 1, 2023, and starting January 1, 2024, Version 7 audits will no longer be conducted.
The International Food Standard (IFS) is a trusted certification in the area of food and supply chain safety, for both consumers and businesses. The newly released IFS Version 8 brings about many significant updates and improvements tailored to the needs of businesses and consumers. In this blog post, we will present these key changes and the entirely new checklist in straightforward language. Understanding what has changed for both producers and consumers is critical for effective implementation of this standard.
Our aim is to elucidate the changes and innovations introduced by IFS Version 8 in an understandable manner, thereby providing easily implementable information for industry professionals and stakeholders. Let's delve into the summary of changes announced by IFS for this new version, as well as a simplified and summarized Turkish translation of the new checklist and a more plain and shortened English version.
Important Note: In the event of discrepancies between the information here and the original English standard, please inform us and refer to the original English version. Neither the author nor AGFOCERT will be responsible for any negative consequences that may arise from following this information. By reading and utilizing this content, you accept these conditions. The purpose of this post is solely to provide free information about the transition to the new standard for all sectors.
Firstly, IFS Version 8 brings several innovations and updates. For instance, 'B scores' are reclassified as deviations and an IFS Star Rating has been announced. Additionally, it is now possible to add EU PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) to an IFS certificate. These new classifications and additions contribute to making the standard more comprehensive and compatible.
Secondly, notable improvements are seen from both operational and administrative perspectives. Organizations must now set targets for all four dimensions of food safety culture. Also, the number of reporting periods, doctrinal rules, and other administrative requirements have significantly decreased, yet they remain compliant with GFSI benchmarking and accreditation documentation requirements. The restructured checklist enhances the audit process by making it more consistent and efficient. For example, food defense is now a part of Section 4.
Lastly, Version 8 achieves broader compliance. The standard has been aligned with Codex Alimentarius, ISO 22003-2, and GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. The language in the checklist is more consistent and clear, making the intent of the requirements more explicitly stated. Additionally, the term "Assessment" has been reverted to "Audit" for compatibility with ISO 22003-2.
These changes highlight how IFS has taken global standards in food safety and quality management a step forward. The new version serves as a valuable guide for the industry and offers numerous advantages for businesses.
On a side note, I'd like to mention that AGFOCERT is an approved and accredited certification body according to the IFS Food standard. You can find more information about our IFS certification services through the link below.
If I have been able to share valuable information and updates with you, I am glad. Thank you for your interest and time; I wish everyone a productive and safe working environment.
Cemal Gürkan Kara
IFS Auditor and General Manager - AGFOCERT
1 Governance and Contracting
Senior management shall, at a minimum, develop, implement and maintain a corporate policy that would include elements such as food safety, product quality, legality and authenticity, customer focus, food safety culture and sustainability. This corporate policy shall be communicated to all employees and set aside specific goals for the relevant departments.
Goals about food safety culture shall include, at a minimum, communication, training, employee feedback, and performance measurement about food safety policies and responsibilities. All important information regarding food safety, product quality, legality and authenticity shall be shared with the relevant staff in an effective and timely manner.
1.2 Corporate Structure
Senior management shall ensure that employees are aware of their responsibilities regarding food safety and product quality, and mechanisms shall be put in place to monitor the effectiveness of their work. Such mechanisms shall be identified and documented.
Senior management shall provide adequate and appropriate resources to meet product and process requirements. The department responsible for food safety and quality management shall have a direct reporting relationship with senior management. An organizational chart showing the structure of the organization shall be documented and kept up to date.
Senior management shall ensure that all processes (documented or not) are known to the relevant staff and implemented consistently. This is important for employees to be able to effectively manage business processes.
Maintain a system to ensure that the organization is aware of all relevant legal regulations, scientific and technical developments, codes of industry practice, food safety and product quality issues, and is aware of factors that may affect food defense and food fraud risks.
The certifying organization shall be notified of any changes that may affect the organization's compliance with certification requirements. This shall include, at a minimum, changes in the legal company name, changes of location of the production site. For special cases, i.e. in the event of any product recall, any product recall decided by the authorities and/or a visit from the authorities requiring mandatory action for reasons of withdrawal and food safety and/or food fraud, the certifying body shall be notified within three (3) working days.
1.3 Management review
Senior management shall review the food safety and quality management system. This activity shall be planned over a period of 12 months, and its implementation shall not exceed 15 months. At a minimum, reviews shall include a review of objectives and policies, including elements related to the food safety culture, audit and site inspection results, positive and negative customer feedback, process compliance, food fraud and food defence assessment results, compliance issues, the status of corrective and corrective actions, and communications from authorities.
The activities that emerge from the management review shall be aimed at supporting improvement. The management review shall assess the monitoring activities that emerged from previous reviews and any changes that may affect the food safety and quality management system. Review work shall be fully documented.
Senior management shall identify and review the infrastructure and working environment necessary to ensure food safety, product quality, legality and authenticity at least once a year or when significant changes occur (for example, through internal audits or on-site inspections). This shall, at a minimum, include buildings, supply systems, machinery and equipment, transportation, personnel facilities, environmental conditions, hygienic conditions, workplace design, and external factors (e.g., noise, vibration). According to the risks, the results of the review shall be taken into account for investment planning.
2 Food Safety and Quality Management System
2.1 Quality Management
2.1.1 Document Management
A procedure shall be documented, implemented and kept in force, this procedure is intended to control the documents and any changes to be made to them. All documents that shall comply with food safety, product quality, legal compliance, authenticity and customer requirements shall be available in their most up-to-date versions. The reason for any changes to documents critical to these requirements shall be recorded.
The food safety and quality management system shall be documented, implemented and maintained; And all this information shall be stored in a safe place. This applies to both physical and digital documentation systems.
All documents shall be readable, understandable and comprehensive. They shall be accessible at all times by the relevant staff.
2.1.2 Documented Information and Records
All records and documented information shall be readable, accurately completed and authentic. They shall be stored in such a way as to prevent subsequent revisions or changes from being made. If records are documented electronically, a system (e.g., password protection) shall be in place so that only authorized personnel can create or modify those records.
All records and documented information shall be retained in accordance with legal and customer requirements. If no such requirement has been identified, records and documented information shall be kept for at least one year after the end of the product's shelf life. For products without a shelf life, the retention period of the recorded and documented information shall be determined with a justifiable reason and this justification shall be documented.
Records and documented information shall be stored securely and easily accessible.
2.2 Food Safety Management
The basis of the organization's food safety management system shall be a systematic and comprehensive HACCP plan, in accordance with Codex Alimentarius principles, good manufacturing practices, good hygiene practices and any rules that exceed the legal requirements of the production and target countries. The HACCP plan shall be applied specifically at the production site.
The HACCP plan shall cover all raw materials, packaging materials, products or product groups and shall include every process from incoming products to the shipment of finished products. This includes the product development process.
The basis of the plan shall be scientific literature or expert advice from other sources, including trade and industry associations, independent experts and authorities. This information shall be kept up-to-date in accordance with any new technical process developments.
In the case of changes in raw materials, packaging materials, processing methods, infrastructure and/or equipment, the HACCP plan shall be reviewed to ensure that product safety requirements are complied with.
2.3 HACCP analysis
2.3.1 The HACCP Team
The HACCP team shall have appropriate specialized knowledge and expertise and shall be a multidisciplinary team that includes operational personnel. This team shall be carefully selected to master every aspect of food safety and production processes.
Among those responsible for the development and maintenance of the HACCP plan, there shall be an internal team leader. These leaders and team members shall receive appropriate training in the application of HACCP principles and have specific knowledge of products and processes. Education and knowledge are critical to the effective implementation of the plan.
2.3.2 Product Description
A full description of each product shall be documented, and this description shall include all important information regarding product safety. In particular, the composition, physical, sensory, chemical and microbiological properties of the product shall be included in this description. In addition, durability factors such as the product's legal requirements for food safety, packaging methods and shelf life shall be included.
The storage conditions of the product, the method of transportation and the stages of distribution shall also be explained in detail in this document. This information shall be easily accessible to all relevant staff and updated as needed. Especially when there are any changes to the product or legal requirements, this document shall be reviewed quickly.
2.3.3 Intended Use and Users of the Product
The intended use of the product shall be explained in consideration of how the end consumer will use the product. This disclosure shall also be made taking into account particularly sensitive consumer groups. That is, it shall be indicated to whom the product is intended and how and for what purpose these groups will use the product.
This information regarding the intended use of the product shall be documented, including possible risks and safety measures. For example, it shall be indicated whether the product is suitable for special groups of consumers, such as children or the elderly, or whether any safety measures need to be taken.
All this information shall also be taken into account during product development and marketing activities. If there is a significant change in the use of the product or the user base, this document shall be reviewed quickly.
2.3.4 Creating the Flow Diagram
For each product or group of products, a flow diagram shall be documented and kept up to date to include all process and subprocess variations (including rework and correction operations). The flow diagram shall indicate each step and control measure for the defined Critical Control Points (CCPs) and other control measures. The diagram shall be dated and updated in case of any changes.
2.3.5 In-Place Verification of the Flow Diagram
Representatives of the HACCP team shall approve the flow diagram by performing on-site verifications at all process stages and shifts. Changes shall be made to the diagram as appropriate to the situation.
2.3.6 A Hazard Analysis Shall Be Carried Out for Each Stage
For each stage, hazard analysis shall be carried out for possible and expected physical, chemical (including radiological and allergens) and biological hazards. The analysis shall also include hazards related to food contact materials, packaging materials and the working environment. The hazard analysis shall take into account the likelihood of hazards occurring and the severity of adverse health effects. Specific control measures to be implemented to control each significant hazard shall be taken into account.
2.3.7 Identify Critical Control Points and Other Control Measures
When determining whether the stage at which the control measure is implemented is a Critical Control Point (CCP) in the HACCP system, it shall be facilitated using a decision tree or other tools that demonstrate a logical and rational approach.
2.3.8 Establishing Verified Critical Boundaries for Each CCP
For each Critical Control Point (CCP), critical boundaries shall be defined and verified to determine when a process is out of control.
2.3.9 Establish a Monitoring System for Each CCP
For each Critical Control Point (CCP), specific monitoring procedures shall be documented, implemented and maintained in terms of method, frequency of measurement or observation and recording of results in order to detect any loss of control in that CCP. Every CCP identified shall be under control and this control and monitoring shall be demonstrated by records.
Records of CCP traces by a responsible person within the organization shall be verified and retained for a relevant period of time. Operative personnel responsible for monitoring the CCPs and other control measures defined for control measures shall have received special training or instruction.
Control measures other than those defined for CCPs shall be monitored, recorded and controlled against measurable or observable criteria.
2.3.10 Establishing Corrective Actions
If monitoring indicates that a specific activity defined for a Critical Control Point (CCP) or other control measure is not under control, corrective actions shall be documented and implemented. Such corrective actions shall also take into account any actions related to non-compliant products and determine the root cause of why control of the CCPs has been lost.
2.3.11 Validate the HACCP Plan and Establish Verification Procedures
To ensure that the HACCP scheme can effectively control the identified hazards, verification activities shall be documented, implemented and maintained, including re-verification, if any changes may affect food safety. Along with this type of activity, a mechanism shall be established to continuously review the suitability of your HACCP plan and update it as needed.
Verification procedures shall also be documented, implemented and maintained to confirm that the HACCP scheme is working correctly. For example, verification activities such as internal audits, tests, samplings, deviations, nonconformities and complaints shall be carried out at least once a year or when significant changes occur.
The results of such verification activities shall be recorded and included in the HACCP plan. This is a critical step to ensure that the plan is consistently active and up to date. It is important for management to review this process regularly to guarantee the effectiveness and safety of the process.
2.3.12 Establish Documentation and Record Keeping
All important information relating to the HACCP plan, such as hazard analysis, control measures for Critical Control Points (CCPs) and other control measures, identification of critical boundaries, procedures, procedures, results of CCP monitoring activities and training records of the personnel who will carry out this monitoring, shall be documented. These documents are important to assess how effective the business is in terms of food safety and to prevent problems in the future.
In addition to these documents, records shall be kept of observed deviations, non-conformities and corrective actions implemented. All these documents and records shall be regularly reviewed by an authorized person within the enterprise. This is a critical activity to continuously check the effectiveness and compliance of the HACCP plan.
3 Resource Management
3.1 Human Resources
All personnel who have an impact on product safety, quality, legality and authenticity shall have the necessary competence as a result of training, work experience and/or training. This is a critical activity to ensure that staff have the appropriate skills and knowledge for their roles.
Second, responsibilities, competencies and job descriptions for all job titles that have an impact on food safety and product quality shall be documented, implemented and maintained. The assignment of key roles shall also be determined. This documentation and assigned roles are necessary to guarantee that all activities that affect food safety and product quality of the enterprise are properly managed.
3.2 Personal hygiene
Risk-based requirements related to personal hygiene shall be identified, implemented and continuously updated. At a minimum, this shall cover hair and beard, protective clothing, hand washing and hygiene, eating, drinking, smoking/tobacco, precautions for cuts or skin abrasions, nails, jewellery, artificial nails/eyelashes and personal items.
This requires notification of infectious diseases and conditions affecting food safety through a medical screening procedure. It is essential that hygiene rules are understood and implemented by all relevant staff, subcontractors and visitors.
Compliance with personal hygiene requirements shall be observed at a frequency determined depending on the risks, but at least quarterly. A risk-based program shall be established and carried out to control the effectiveness of hand hygiene.
Jewelry or watches that are visible shall not be worn. Any exceptions shall be effectively managed as a result of a comprehensive risk-based assessment. Cuts and skin abrasions shall be closed with a band-aid so as not to pose a risk of contamination of the product.
In work areas where the hair shall be completely covered, a hood and/or beard cover shall be worn to prevent contamination of the product. Usage rules shall be established for work areas/events where it is mandatory to wear gloves.
A sufficient amount of protective clothing shall be provided for everyone who works. Protective clothing shall be washed regularly and effectively, either at work, by approved subcontractors or by employees, in accordance with a decision determined depending on the risks.
The effectiveness of the washing process shall be monitored. If any health problem or infectious disease may have an impact on food safety, appropriate actions shall be taken to minimise the risk of contamination.
3.3 Training and Instruction
Training and instructions shall be documented in accordance with product and process requirements. This document shall include the employee's work-related needs, training contents, how often they will receive training, in which languages the training will be given, who can become a trainer/tutor and how to assess how effective the trainings are.
All staff, i.e. seasonal and temporary workers, shall be subjected to these documented training and training programmes. Before starting work, they will be trained in accordance with these programs.
All records of training and instruction activities shall be kept. These registrations shall include the participant list, date, duration, training content, and instructor's name. This data shall be contained in a documented procedure or program to prove the effectiveness of the training and instructions.
Training and instruction contents shall be reviewed and updated as needed. In particular, special attention shall be paid to issues such as food safety, product authenticity, quality, legal requirements.
Taking into account the feedback received from previous periods of training and instructions, necessary improvements shall be made.
3.4 Employee Facilities
Adequate facilities shall be provided for employees. These facilities shall be sized and equipped to accommodate the number of employees and shall be designed and controlled to minimise food safety risks. These facilities shall be kept regularly maintained to prevent contamination.
The risks of product contamination shall be minimized by food and beverage vending machines, the cafeteria and/or food and beverages brought to work by employees. Caution shall be exercised about food and drink.
Changing rooms shall be positioned in such a way as to provide direct access to areas where unpackaged food products are processed. If the infrastructure does not allow this, alternative measures shall be taken and implemented to minimise the risks of product contamination. Outerwear and protective clothing shall be stored separately, otherwise alternative measures shall be taken and carried out to avoid the risks of contamination.
Toilets shall not provide direct access to areas where products are processed and shall not pose a risk of contamination to such areas. Toilets shall have adequate hand washing facilities and facilities shall have adequate natural or mechanical ventilation.
Hand hygiene facilities shall be provided and at least a sufficient number of sinks shall be designed in appropriate places in and/or inside the production areas and only for hand cleaning. The necessity of similar equipment in other regions, such as packaging areas, shall be assessed on a risk-bound basis.
Hand hygiene facilities shall also provide potable water running at the proper temperature, adequate cleaning and disinfection equipment, and appropriate tools for hand drying.
If processes require higher levels of hygiene control, hand washing equipment shall also provide fixtures with no hand contact, hand disinfection and a waste container with opening without hand contact.
Where necessary, cleaning and disinfection facilities for boots, shoes and other protective clothing shall be available and used.
4 Operational Processes
4.1 Customer Orientation and Contractual Agreement
A procedure shall be implemented and maintained to determine the basic needs and expectations of customers. The feedback obtained from this activity will be used to contribute to the continuous improvement process of the organization.
All requirements relating to food safety and product quality shall be understood and implemented by each relevant unit within the framework of customer agreements, and any revisions of these clauses shall be understood and implemented by each relevant unit. This shall be communicated to all departments.
If there are customer agreements on product description, processing, technological requirements, test and monitoring plans, packaging and labeling, all the conditions of these agreements shall be complied with.
In line with customer requirements, senior management shall notify affected customers as soon as possible if any issues with product safety or legality arise. This also applies to deviations and non-conformities determined by the competent authorities.
4.2 Specifications and Formulas
Specifications for all finished products shall be documented and implemented. Specifications shall be up-to-date, understandable and comply with both the law and customer requirements.
A directive for creating, approving and amending specifications shall be documented, implemented and maintained. At the request of customers, product specifications shall be officially approved. This procedure shall include updating the finished product specifications in the event of any changes such as raw materials, formulas/recipes, activities affecting finished products and packaging materials.
Specifications for all raw materials (ingredients, additives, packaging materials, reprocessed products) shall be documented and applied. Specifications shall be up-to-date, understandable and comply with legal requirements, and if customer requirements are defined, they shall also comply with them.
The specifications and/or the information contained therein shall be accessible to all relevant personnel at the place of work.
When products are requested to be labelled or promoted with a specific claim, or when a particular treatment or manufacturing method is excluded, measures shall be taken to demonstrate compliance with such a statement.
4.3 Product Development/Product Change/Change of Production Processes
A directive for the development or modification of products and/or processes shall be documented, implemented and maintained. This directive shall include, at a minimum, a hazard analysis and an assessment of the associated risks.
The specified procedure shall ensure that the labelling complies with the current legislation and customer requirements of the target country or countries.
The development and/or modification process shall produce specifications on formulation, rework, packaging materials and production processes. This shall include factory trials, product testing and process monitoring activities. The progress and results of product development/replacement activities shall be recorded.
Shelf life tests or appropriate verifications shall be carried out through microbiological, chemical and sensory assessments. Shelf life shall be determined in accordance with this assessment.
Preparation and/or instructions for use of food products shall be verified and documented in relation to food safety and/or product quality.
Nutritional information or claims declared on the labeling shall be verified by studies and/or tests throughout the shelf life of the product.
A procedure for supply, approval and monitoring of suppliers (internal and external) for raw materials, semi-finished products and packaging materials shall be documented, implemented and maintained. At a minimum, this procedure shall include supplier and raw material risks, required performance standards, and exceptional circumstances such as emergencies.
Purchased materials shall be assessed for food safety, product quality, legality and authenticity according to the risks and supplier situation. The results shall form the basis of test and monitoring plans.
If purchasing services affect food safety and product quality based on risks, they shall be evaluated to ensure that they comply with the established requirements.
If part of product processing or main packaging or labelling is outsourced, this shall be documented in the food safety and quality management system. If required by the customer, there shall be evidence of approval of such outsourced processes.
An agreement covering outsourced processes shall be documented and implemented. The agreement shall describe the arrangements related to the process, in-process controls, tests and monitoring plans.
Suppliers of outsourced processes shall be certified either with an IFS Food or other GFSI recognised food safety certificate or through a documented supplier audit carried out by an experienced and competent person.
Material resources and supplier assessments shall be reviewed at least annually or when there are significant changes. Reviews and subsequent actions shall be documented.
4.5 Product Packaging
Key parameters for packaging materials shall be defined in detailed specifications in accordance with existing relevant legislation and any other relevant hazards or risks. For each relevant product, the suitability of the packaging materials in contact with food and the presence of functional barrier(s) shall be verified. This shall be monitored and demonstrated, for example, by organoleptic tests, storage tests, chemical analyses and migration test results.
For all packaging materials that may have an impact, declarations of conformity certifying compliance with legal requirements shall be documented. If no specific legal requirements apply, evidence shall be retained to show that the packaging materials are suitable for use. This applies to packaging materials, which may affect raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products.
The packaging and labelling used shall conform to the product being packaged and shall comply with the accepted customer product specifications. Labeling information shall be readable and indelible. This shall be monitored and documented at the beginning and end of the production run, as well as at every product change.
4.6 Factory Location
Situations where the factory environment (e.g. floor, air) may have a negative impact on food safety and/or product quality will be investigated. If risks have been identified (e.g. excessively dusty air, strong odors), measures to minimise these risks will be documented, implemented and their effectiveness reviewed at least once a year or when there are significant changes.
4.7 Factory Exterior Area
All exterior areas of the factory shall be clean, tidy, designed and maintained to prevent contamination. In places where natural drainage is insufficient, a suitable drainage system will be installed.
Storage in open areas will be kept to a minimum. If ingredients are stored outside, it will be ensured that there is no risk of contamination or adverse effects on food safety and quality.
4.8 Facility Layout and Process Flow
A site plan covering all buildings of the facility has been created and shall be constantly updated. This plan shall describe in detail issues such as finished and semi-finished products, packaging materials, raw materials, personnel movement, waste management and water use.
From material acceptance to shipment, the entire process flow shall be designed and implemented in such a way as to eliminate the risks of microbiological, chemical and physical contamination. At the same time, effective measures shall be taken to minimise the risks of cross-contamination.
Areas that are sensitive to microbiological, chemical and physical risks shall be specifically designed and operated to ensure product safety.
Laboratory activities and in-process controls shall not have a negative impact on product safety.
4.9 Structural Requirements
The design, construction and maintenance of the plant shall be arranged in such a way as to ensure food safety. Walls, ceilings and floors shall be made in such a way that they are easy to clean and disinfectable if necessary. In addition, these structures shall be designed to prevent the growth of moisture and mold.
Windows and other openings shall be specially designed to prevent the accumulation of dust and protected from breakage if the products are not packaged. Doors and doors shall be designed to be easy to clean and special structural measures shall be taken to prevent the entry of harmful organisms.
Lighting and ventilation systems shall be arranged in such a way that they are sufficient in all production and storage areas. Ventilation equipment shall be easily accessible and can be cleaned or replaced when necessary. Especially dust drawing equipment shall be installed in dusty areas.
The water used shall be of drinkable quality for hand washing and disinfection processes and shall be provided in sufficient quantity. Likewise, compressed air and gases in direct contact with food shall be of such a quality that they do not pose a risk of contamination.
4.10 Cleaning and Disinfection
Risk-based cleaning and disinfection programs shall be approved, documented and implemented. These programs are; It shall specify its aims, responsibilities, products used and instructions for use, chemical dosages, areas and time frames in which cleaning and disinfection activities will be carried out, frequency and cleaning in place (CIP) criteria, if any.
Cleaning and disinfection activities shall be implemented effectively, as a result, workplaces, facilities and equipment shall be effectively cleaned.
Cleaning and disinfection activities shall be documented and these records shall be reviewed by a responsible person in the organization.
Only competent personnel shall carry out cleaning and disinfection activities. Staff shall be trained and retrained to be able to implement cleaning and disinfection programs.
The planned use of cleaning and disinfection equipment shall be clearly indicated. Equipment shall be used and stored as specified to prevent contamination.
Safety data sheets and instructions for use for cleaning and disinfection chemicals shall be in place. Personnel responsible for cleaning and disinfection activities shall demonstrate that they are familiar with these instructions.
The effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection measures shall be verified. Verification shall be based on a risk-based sampling program and shall consider one or more actions; e.g. visual inspection, rapid tests and analytical test methods. The results obtained shall be documented.
When there are changes in products, processes or cleaning and disinfection equipment, cleaning and disinfection programs shall be reviewed and, if necessary, changed.
If the organization works with a third-party service provider for cleaning and disinfection activities in production areas, all the requirements mentioned above shall be documented in the service contract.
4.11 Waste Management
A waste management procedure shall be documented, implemented and maintained so that mixed contamination is avoided. In this context, the activity shall also meet local legal requirements. This means that all local legal requirements for waste disposal shall be met.
Food waste and other types of waste shall be removed as quickly as possible from areas where food is processed. Waste accumulation shall be prevented. This is especially important as it can directly affect food safety.
Waste collection containers shall be clearly marked, properly designed and maintained. It is essential that they are easy to clean and can be disinfected when necessary.
If a company decides to separate food waste and reintroduce it into the feed supply chain, the necessary measures or procedures shall be in place to prevent contamination or degradation of this material.
Waste shall be collected in separate containers in accordance with the planned method of disposal. Such waste shall only be disposed of by authorized third parties. The company shall keep records of waste disposal.
Within this framework, all waste management activities can be carried out sustainably and effectively only with the review of management. Management shall periodically examine the effectiveness of waste management in accordance with the established specifications and criteria.
4.12 Foreign Material and Chemical Risk Reduction
KO N° 6 Basic Principle: Depending on the risks, procedures shall be documented, implemented and maintained to prevent contamination with foreign materials. Dirty products are considered unsuitable products.
Processed products shall be protected from physical pollution. This includes elements such as environmental pollutants, oils or liquids dripping from machines, dust spills. In addition, special attention shall be paid to equipment, pipes, walkways, platforms and stairs that can cause risks of product contamination.
If it is not possible to protect the products due to technological features and/or needs, appropriate control measures shall be taken.
All chemicals within the facility shall be treated in a way that is fit for purpose, labeled, stored and does not pose a risk of contamination.
If metal and/or other contaminant detectors are required, they shall be installed to ensure maximum detection efficiency to prevent subsequent contamination. Detectors shall be serviced to ensure that they do not fail over a period of at least 12 months or when significant changes occur.
The accuracy of all equipment and methods designed to detect and/or eliminate contaminants shall be stated. The functionality of such equipment and methods shall be tested with a risk-based frequency. In the event of failure or failure, the impact on products and processes shall be assessed.
Potentially contaminated products shall be isolated. Further processing or testing of these isolated products shall only be carried out by authorised personnel.
The use of glass and/or fragile materials shall be excluded in areas where raw materials, semi-finished and finished products are handled; However, if the presence of glass and/or fragile materials is unavoidable, the risks shall be controlled and the materials shall be clean in such a way as not to pose a risk to product safety.
Risk-based measures for glass packaging, glass containers or other types of containers shall be implemented and maintained during the production process. There shall be no further contamination risk after this processing step.
Procedures describing the measures to be taken in the event of glass breakage and/or breakable materials shall be documented, implemented and maintained. Such measures shall include determining the scope of the products to be insulated, designating authorised personnel, cleaning and, if necessary, disinfecting the production environment, and approving the production line so that it can continue.
Breakage of glass and fragile material shall be noted. Exceptions shall be justified and documented.
If visual inspection is used to detect contaminants, employees shall be trained and operative changes shall be made at an appropriate frequency to make the process effective.
In areas where raw materials, semi-finished and finished products are processed, the use of wood shall be excluded; However, if the presence of wood is unavoidable, the risks shall be controlled and the wood shall be clean so as not to pose a risk to product safety.
4.13 Pest Monitoring and Control
The plant area and equipment shall be designed, built and maintained to prevent pest infestation. This includes protecting both the exterior and interior from potential pest risks.
Risk-based pest control activities shall be documented, implemented and maintained. These activities shall at least take into account factors such as the factory environment, types of raw materials and finished products, site plan for the application area, structural designs that may pose a risk to pest activity, and on-site identification of baits.
If a company has contracted with a third-party service provider for pest control, all the requirements mentioned above shall be documented in the service agreement. A competent person in the company shall be appointed to monitor pest control activities. Even if the pest control service is outsourced, the responsibility for the necessary activities shall remain within the company.
Pest control inspections and resulting activities shall be documented. The measures taken shall be monitored and recorded. Any cases of infestation shall be documented and control measures shall be taken.
Baits, traps and insecticides shall be fully functional, sufficient in number, designed for the purpose, placed in convenient places and properly used to avoid contamination.
Incoming deliveries shall be inspected for the presence of pests upon arrival and any findings shall be recorded. This is important to ensure the safety of materials and products.
The effectiveness of pest control measures shall be monitored, including trend analysis. Records of this monitoring activity shall be available. Management review shall ensure that the effectiveness of such activities is constantly assessed.
4.14 Goods Reception and Storage
All incoming goods, including packaging materials and labels, shall be checked for compliance with specifications in accordance with a set risk-based monitoring plan. This monitoring plan shall be justified by the risk assessment and records of the relevant examinations shall be available.
The storage conditions of raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products and packaging materials shall comply with the product specifications and shall not have a negative impact on other products. This means taking care of proper temperature, humidity and other environmental factors.
Raw materials, packaging materials, semi-finished and finished products shall be stored in such a way as to minimize the risks of contamination or any other negative effects. For example, food and chemicals shall be stored separately.
Appropriate storage facilities shall be available for the management and storage of work materials, process aids and additives. Responsible personnel for warehouse management shall be trained.
All products shall be defined. Use of Products shall be made in accordance with the First Come, First Out and/or Expired First Out principles. This is critical to maintain the freshness and quality of products.
If a company has contracted with a third-party warehousing service provider, that service provider shall comply with IFS Logistics or other GFSI recognized certification standards. If this is not the case, all relevant requirements equivalent to the company's own storage practices shall be met and this shall be defined in the relevant agreement.
The absence of conditions inside the vehicles, such as strange odors, high dust load, adverse humidity, vermin, mold, etc., is checked and documented before loading. If goods are transported at certain temperatures, the temperature inside the vehicles is checked and documented before loading. Procedures to prevent contamination during transport, including loading and unloading, are documented, implemented and maintained. Different categories of goods (food / non-food) are taken into account, if appropriate.
If goods are transported at certain temperatures, the maintenance of the appropriate temperature range during carriage is ensured and documented. Risk-based hygiene requirements apply to all means of transport and equipment used for loading/unloading (e.g. hoses of silo plants). The measures taken are recorded.
Loading / unloading areas shall be suitable for their purpose. It shall be built as follows: the risks of pest intake are reduced, products are protected from adverse weather conditions, waste accumulation is prevented, condensation and mold growth are prevented, cleaning and, if necessary, disinfection can be easily carried out.
If an organization hires a third-party transportation service provider, the service provider shall hold a GFSI recognized certification standard covering IFS Logistics or the relevant scope of activity. If not, all relevant requirements equivalent to the organization's own transport practices shall be fulfilled and defined in this contract.
4.16 Maintenance and Repair
A maintenance plan covering all critical equipment (including transport and storage areas) is documented, implemented and maintained to ensure food safety, product quality and legality. This applies to both internal maintenance activities and service providers. The plan shall include responsibilities, priorities, and deadlines.
During and after maintenance and repair work, food safety, product quality, legality and accuracy are ensured. Records of maintenance and repair work are kept. All materials used for maintenance and repair shall be fit for purpose and shall not pose a risk of contamination.
Failures and breakdowns of plants and equipment (including transport) that are important for food safety and product quality are identified, documented and examined so that quick actions can be taken and a maintenance plan can be developed. Temporary repairs are carried out in such a way as not to jeopardize food safety and product quality. Such work is documented and a short-term deadline is set to eliminate the problem.
If an organization hires a third-party maintenance and repair service provider, all of the organization's requirements regarding materials, equipment, and operating rules are documented, defined in the service contract, and maintained so that any product contamination is prevented.
The equipment shall be properly designed and defined for its intended use. Before the commissioning of new equipment, food safety, product quality, legality, accuracy and compliance with customer requirements are verified.
For all equipment and equipment that may have an impact on the product, documents demonstrating compliance with legal requirements are documented. In the absence of special legal requirements, evidence shall be available, for example, a certificate of conformity, technical specifications, the manufacturer's own declaration.
The equipment shall be placed in such a way as to allow for effective cleaning, disinfection and maintenance.
All product equipment shall be in a condition that does not compromise food safety and product quality.
When changes are made to equipment, process characteristics are reviewed to ensure food safety, product quality, legality, accuracy and compliance with customer requirements.
A traceability system that enables the identification of batches of products and the relationship of raw materials, packaging materials in contact with food and/or materials carrying legal and/or relevant food safety information with batches shall be documented, implemented and maintained. The traceability system shall include all relevant records: delivery, processing at all steps, use of reprocessing, distribution. Traceability shall be ensured and documented until delivery to the customer.
The traceability system, including its mass balance, shall be tested at least once in a 12-month period or when significant changes occur. Test samples shall reflect the complexity of the organization's product range. Test records shall demonstrate upstream and downstream traceability (from delivered products to raw materials and vice versa).
Traceability from finished products to raw materials and customers shall be achieved within a maximum of four (4) hours. Test results shall be recorded, including the time it takes to obtain information, and actions shall be taken if necessary. Time frame objectives shall be aligned with customer requirements, if less than four (4) hours are required.
Labeling of batches of semi-finished products or finished products shall be carried out at the time when the goods are directly packaged, thus ensuring clear traceability of the goods. When the goods are subsequently labeled, the goods temporarily stored shall have a specific batch label. The shelf life (e.g. expiration date) of labelled goods shall be defined using the original production batch.
If required by the customer, designated representative samples of the manufacturing batch or batch number shall be properly stored and the finished products shall be stored until the "Expiry date" or "Best before" and, if necessary, for a specified period after this date.
4.19 Allergen Risk Reduction
For all raw materials, a risk assessment shall be carried out to identify allergens that require notification, including accidental or technically unavoidable cross-contamination of legally reported allergens and their traces. This information shall relate to the country(s) where the finished products are sold and shall be documented and maintained for all raw materials. A constantly up-to-date list of all allergen-containing raw materials used in the premises shall be maintained. This shall also indicate all mixtures and formulas to which allergen-containing raw materials are added.
From delivery to shipment, risk-based measures shall be implemented and maintained to ensure that potential cross-contamination of products with allergens is minimised. Potential cross-contamination risks shall be taken into account, at least in relation to: environment, transport, storage, raw materials, personnel (including contracted personnel and visitors). The measures implemented shall be monitored.
Finished products containing allergens that require notification shall be declared in accordance with legal requirements. Accidental or technically unavoidable cross-contamination of legally reported allergens and their traces shall be labeled. The decision shall be risk-based. Potential cross-contamination of allergens from raw materials processed in the enterprise shall also be taken into account on the product label.
4.20 Food Fraud
Responsibilities for vulnerability assessment and mitigation plan to food fraud shall be defined. The responsible person(s) shall have appropriate specific information. A documented food fraud vulnerability assessment, including assessment criteria, shall be documented, implemented and maintained. The scope of the assessment shall cover all raw materials, materials, packaging materials and outsourced processes so that substitution can identify the risks of fraudulent activities related to mislabeling, fraud or counterfeiting.
The food fraud reduction plan shall be documented, implemented and maintained, with reference to vulnerability assessment, and shall include testing and monitoring methods. The food fraud vulnerability assessment shall be reviewed at least once in a 12-month period or when significant changes occur. If necessary, the food fraud reduction plan shall be revised/updated accordingly.
4.21 Food Defense
Responsibilities for food defence shall be defined and the person(s) responsible shall have appropriate specific knowledge. A food defence procedure and plan shall be documented, implemented and maintained to identify potential threats and identify food defence measures.
At a minimum, this shall include legal requirements, identification of critical areas and/or practices, employee access policy, visitors and contractors, how to manage external audits and regulatory visits, and other appropriate control measures.
The food defense plan shall be tested for effectiveness and reviewed over a period of at least 12 months or when significant changes occur.
5 Measurements, analyses and improvement
5.1 Internal Audits
An effective internal audit program shall be established, documented, implemented and kept up to date. This activity shall be planned to ensure compliance with IFS Standards. The planning of the program shall be completed within a period of 12 months, and its implementation shall not exceed 15 months. In addition, the organization shall conduct a separate risk assessment for critical activities such as food safety and product quality, and these activities shall be audited more frequently. External warehouse areas owned or leased by the organization shall also be included in this audit.
Auditors shall be independent of the department they are auditing and have sufficient knowledge and skills. That is, there shall not be any conflict of interest between the auditor and the audited department, the auditor shall be able to do his job independently and objectively.
All internal audit activities and results shall be documented and this information shall be communicated to the persons responsible for the activity related to senior management. Any compliance, deviation or non-compliance shall also be documented and reported to the relevant persons. This will help increase the transparency and effectiveness of the process while at the same time minimizing possible risks.
5.2 Factory Inspections
Plant and factory inspections shall be planned and carried out in such a way as to focus on specific issues. For example, issues such as the structural condition of production and warehouse areas, external areas, control of the product during processing, hygiene within processing and infrastructure, foreign hazards and personal hygiene shall be addressed. The frequency of examinations shall be determined according to the possible risks and the date of previous results.
These examinations shall be organized with particular risk factors in mind. Taking into account the results of previous examinations, it shall be determined how often the examinations shall be carried out. All these activities shall be documented and provide a basis for the necessary improvements.
5.3 Process Verification and Control
Criteria for process verification and control shall be established. It is important that these criteria are clearly defined in order to understand which standards shall be met. These defined criteria will serve as a basis for assessing the success of the process.
Process parameters (temperature, time, pressure, chemical properties, etc.) that are critical to ensure food safety and product quality shall be monitored and recorded continuously or at appropriate intervals and protected against unauthorized access or alteration. That is, these critical parameters need to be kept under strict control.
Any reprocessing activity shall be verified, monitored and documented. Such activities shall not adversely affect food safety and product quality requirements. If rework is required, it shall be ensured that these processes also comply with the standards set.
Procedures shall be documented, implemented and kept up to date at all times so that equipment failures and process deviations can be quickly reported, recorded and monitored. If there is a disruption or deviation, there shall be an effective system to detect this situation immediately and take the necessary measures.
Process verification shall be carried out using aggregated data that is relevant to food safety and processes. If there are significant changes in the process, a re-verification activity shall be carried out. That is, when the process changes, a new assessment shall be made for the safety and effectiveness of the entire system.
5.4 Calibration, Adjustment and Control of Measuring and Monitoring Devices
The measuring and monitoring devices necessary to meet food safety and product quality requirements shall be identified and the condition of these devices shall be recorded. In addition, these devices shall have this approval if they require regulatory approval by applicable legislation. This means that which devices will be used shall be clearly defined and their calibration status shall be kept up to date.
All measuring devices shall be checked, monitored, adjusted and calibrated at regular intervals, in accordance with defined and accepted standards or methods, within the limits required by the process. The results of these activities shall be documented. That is, the devices shall undergo a strict control and adjustment process at certain time intervals and these processes shall be documented.
Measuring devices shall only be used for their defined purpose. If the condition of the device or the measurement results indicate a malfunction, the device shall be repaired or replaced immediately. When faults are detected, the impact on processes and products shall be assessed and it shall be determined whether non-conforming products have been processed. That is, when a device is found to be defective, it shall be quickly assessed what impact this may have on the entire process and product.
5.5 Quantity Control Monitoring
Eligibility criteria shall be established to control the batch quantity. A system of frequencies and methods for quantity control shall be implemented and maintained to meet the legal requirements and customer characteristics of the destination country or countries. That is, certain standards and methods shall be established to carry out quantity control and these methods shall be regularly updated.
Quantity control monitoring shall be carried out and documented according to a sampling plan that accurately represents the production batch. That is, the samples shall be taken according to a specific plan and the results of these samplings shall be recorded.
The results of this monitoring shall comply with the criteria established for all products ready for delivery. If the amount of a product does not meet the specified criteria, this situation shall be determined and necessary corrections shall be made. That is, before the products are shipped, they shall pass quantity control and check whether they comply with the established criteria.
5.6 Product Testing and Environmental Monitoring
To meet product safety, quality, legality, authenticity and specific customer requirements, test and monitoring plans for internal and external analysis shall be prepared, documented and implemented. These plans shall, at a minimum, cover the relevant parameters for raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products, packaging materials, contact surfaces of processing equipment and environmental monitoring. All test results shall be recorded.
The criteria for the environmental monitoring program shall be documented, implemented and maintained based on risks. That is, issues such as what factors to monitor, how to monitor and the frequency of monitoring shall be specified in this program.
Analyses important for food safety shall, where possible, be carried out by laboratories equipped with appropriate accredited programmes or methods (ISO/IEC 17025). If analyses are performed internally or by a laboratory that does not have appropriate accredited programs, results shall be compared to laboratories accredited with such programs at least once a year or when significant changes occur.
The reliability of the results of internal analyses shall be ensured on the basis of officially recognized methods of analysis. This shall be demonstrated by ring tests or other proficiency tests.
The results of the analysis shall be evaluated in a timely manner by competent personnel and corrections shall be made immediately for any negative results. The frequency of review of test and monitoring plan results shall be determined based on risks and regulatory requirements.
If internal analyses or controls are carried out, these activities shall be carried out according to established procedures, by competent and approved personnel, in designated areas or laboratories, using appropriate equipment.
Internal organoleptic tests shall be performed to monitor the quality of the finished product. These tests shall be in line with the characteristics related to the effect of the product properties on the relevant parameters and the results shall be documented.
Test and monitoring plans shall be regularly reviewed and updated based on results, regulatory changes, or issues that may have an impact on product safety, quality, legality, and authenticity.
5.7 Product Approval
A quarantine (blocking/holding) procedure shall be documented, implemented and maintained so that raw materials, semi-finished and finished products and packaging materials can be processed and delivered in accordance with food safety, product quality, legality, authenticity and customer requirements.
5.8 Management of Complaints from Authorities and Customers
A procedure for managing product complaints and written notifications from competent authorities shall be documented, implemented and maintained. This procedure shall, within the framework of official controls, include the actions or measures to be taken when non-compliance is detected.
All complaints shall be recorded and quickly assessed by competent staff. If the complaint is justified, immediate action shall be taken.
Complaints shall be analyzed to determine the actions required to prevent the recurrence of deviations and/or non-compliances.
The information obtained as a result of the analysis of the complaint data shall be made available to the relevant responsible persons.
5.9 Product Recall, Product Takeback, and Incident Management
An effective management procedure for product recalls, product recalls, possible emergencies and incidents shall be documented, implemented and maintained. This procedure shall, at a minimum, include elements such as the appointment of responsibilities, the training of responsible persons, the decision-making process, the appointment of a person authorized by the organization and continuously available. There shall also be an up-to-date alert contact list and a communication plan covering customers, authorities and, where necessary, consumers.
This procedure shall be internally tested to cover the end-to-end process for recall/rollback. This activity shall be planned within a period of 12 months and its implementation shall not exceed 15 months. The results of the test shall be reviewed for continuous improvement.
5.10 Management of Non-Conforming Products
A procedure for the management of non-conforming raw materials, semi-finished products, final products, processing equipment and packaging materials shall be documented, implemented and made continuous. This shall, at a minimum, include established responsibilities, isolation/quarantine procedures, risk assessment and decisions on the future use of the products, e.g. release, reprocessing, blocking, quarantine or refusal/discarding.
This procedure needs to be understood and implemented by all relevant employees. When non-conforming products are identified, actions shall be initiated immediately to ensure compliance with food safety and product quality requirements.
Final products and packaging, if outside the specifications, shall not be placed on the market under the relevant label without the written consent of the trademark owner.
5.11 Management of Deviations, Nonconformities, Corrections and Corrective Actions
A correction and corrective actions management procedure for the registration, analysis and transmission of deviations, nonconformities and non-conforming products to the relevant persons shall be documented, implemented and maintained. The aim is to close deviations and/or non-conformities and prevent their recurrence through corrective actions. This shall, at a minimum, include root cause analysis of security, legality, authenticity, and/or repetition of deviations and non-compliances.
When deviations and incompatibilities are detected, corrections shall be made. Corrective actions shall be formulated, documented and implemented as quickly as possible. Responsibilities and time frames for corrective actions shall be identified.
The effectiveness of the applied corrections and corrective actions shall be assessed and the results of the assessment documented. This is a critical step for the continuous improvement of the process.