IFS Food Standard Version 7 – Timetable and Changes

Constanze Illner Food Safety & Hygiene, News, Revisions

Update: October 2020

Version 7 of the IFS Food Standard was published on October 6, 2020. The revision is all about the ease of use, with improved clarity and less focus on bureaucracy and documentation. We have summarized all the important changes for you below.

The time has come: IFS Food Version 7 has been published. Companies now have nine months to implement the new / modified requirements. IFS Food version 7 assessments can be performed from March 1, 2021 onwards. The implementation will become mandatory for all certified companies as of July 1, 2021.

The most important changes

IFS Food Version 7 brings the following important changes:

  • Increased focus on the on-site assessment, less on documentation and a reduced number of requirements
    Many requirements related to documentation have been removed or merged. For some sections, documentation still needs to be provided, such as HACCP, food fraud and food defense. Other requirements for documentation have been merged into a single requirement, e.g. food safety and product quality, customer focus and food safety culture.
  • Improved wording
    The revised version should be easy to understand for all users. The new version therefore contains more descriptive elements, bullet points, definitions and clear wording. The term “audit” has been replaced by the word “assessment” to highlight the product and process approach of IFS in keeping with ISO/IEC 17065.
  • Improved structure of the certification protocol
    The certification protocol of version 7 has been restructured and describes the certification process in more detail. The structure of the assessment protocol is adapted to the course of the assessment and includes, among other things, the points “Before the IFS Food Assessment”, “IFS Food Assessment realisation” and “Post IFS Food Assessment actions”. In this way, it is better tailored to the needs of IFS stakeholders.
  • Clearly structured audit report and better defined evaluation system
  • Every third certification audit will be unannounced.
    You can find all information about this change here.
  • Food safety culture has been incorporated into the requirements
    The food safety culture is intended to positively influence attitudes and behavior regarding food safety throughout the organization. We have summarized all the important information on this topic for you here.
  • A valid GLN (Global Location Number) becomes mandatory for suppliers in the European Economic Area (EEA) and United Kingdom
    Companies in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom (UK) require a valid Global Location Number for IFS Food 7 certification. The GLN simplifies the communication between suppliers and retailers as most retailers in these areas work with it in their merchandise management systems. The GLN also optimizes the security and verifiability of the IFS certificates.

    As of January 2021, it will also be possible to order the GLN from this website. Please note that a company has to have a valid GLN when the first IFS Food V7 Assessment takes place. The latest possible date to order one is the date of the assessment.

  • Additional tools to support quality managers of certified companies, e. g. new e-learning courses, updated IFS auditXpressXTM Software and IFS Audit Manager App for internal auditing
    You can download the updated tools from March 2021 onwards here.

The assessment checklist has been aligned with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements version 2020.1, FSMA, and EU regulations. Further information on IFS Food 7 is available here.

Time schedule

The new version 7 of IFS Food was published on October 6, 2020. From March 1st, 2021 it will be possible to carry out IFS Food V7 audits. IFS Food V 6.1 can still be used in parallel until June 30, 2021. From July 1st, 2021, only audits according to IFS Food Version 7 are permitted.

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Constanze Illner Administrator
Constanze Illner is Research & Communication Officer at DQS CFS GmbH
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Constanze Illner Administrator
Constanze Illner is Research & Communication Officer at DQS CFS GmbH
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