The new Version 7 of the IFS (International Food Standard) has been in effect since July 1st, 2021. The reforms are intended to ensure greater transparency, while at the same time the requirements for necessary document submission have been reduced. The main emphasis of the changes in IFS Food 7 was the implementation of new/changed requirements of ISO/IEC 17065. The focus now is on on-site assessments and the requirement to introduce a food safety culture.
The time allotment for assessments (formerly audits) has been changed so that now at least 50 percent of the overall audit duration must take place in the production area. Also within every three years, one out of three assessments must take place unannounced. Another important change is also the new rating system. Point B becomes "point of attention" and thus has a kind of "recommendation character".
Outside advice helps
If products change or new products are developed, this must be properly recorded. In this regard, section 4.3 of the requirements catalog stipulates: "The product development/change process gives rise to specifications for product ingredients, packaging requirements, production processes and process parameters with reference to compliance with product requirements. This includes factory tests and product testing. The progress and results of product development shall be properly recorded." These and other requirements demand extensive know-how from the employees involved. Outside consulting helps to save time and to guard against operational blindness.