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IFS announces Version 6.1 of the IFS Food Standard: Here’s what changes

As you may have heard by now, the IFS Food Standard is currently under revision.  The new Version 7 of the standard was initially scheduled for publication in the Spring of 2018. This now turns out to be unrealistic: Version 7 is not be expected until the last quarter of 2018. To make sure that the IFS Food Standard continues to be aligned with the GFSI requirements, IFS will replace Version 6 with a new version called 6.1 in November 2017. In this post, we will summarize the main changes for you.

The main reason behind the development of Version 6.1 has been the publication of the new GFSI Guidance Document in April 2017. In order to make sure that the IFS Food Standard continues to meet the benchmarking requirements of the GFSI, IFS had to introduce a number of additional requirements, particularly in relation to the prevention of food fraud.

Preventing Food Fraud: New Requirements

Version 6.1 has an entirely new section dedicated to the prevention of food fraud. It contains three main requirements:

  • A documented vulnerability assessment shall be undertaken on all raw materials, including packaging, to determine the risk of fraudulent activity in relation to substitution, mislabelling, adulteration or counterfeiting. The criteria considered within the vulnerability assessment shall be defined.
  • A documented food fraud mitigation plan shall be developed, with reference to the vulnerability assessment, and implemented to control any identified risk. The methods of control and monitoring shall be defined and implemented.
  • Vulnerability assessments shall be reviewed at least annually. If a vulnerability assessment identifies increased risk, then the control and monitoring requirements of the food fraud mitigation plan shall be reviewed and amended accordingly. 

Timeline

Version 6.1 is scheduled for release in November 2017. It will enter into force on June 1, 2018.


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Workshop

In order to assist you with the transition, DQS offers a one-day workshop, during which you’ll learn how to conduct a vulnerability assessment and to develop an effective food fraud mitigation plan.

Contact us to learn more!

What is next with Version 7?

While Version 6.1 is being released, IFS continues to work on Version 7. According to the latest timeline, the standard should be ready for publication no later than the last quarter of 2018. There will be a transition period of six months, meaning that the first certification audits would take place in Spring 2019.  Keep an eye on our website to stay informed on the latest development, or subscribe to our LinkedIn page to discover the latest news without delay.

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About the Author

Dr. Thijs Willaert is Director of Marketing & Communication at DQS CFS GmbH

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