IFS Food Standard Version 7 – Timetable and Changes

Constanze Illner Food Safety & Hygiene, News, Revisions

Update: November 2019

In the first quarter of 2020, Version 7 of the IFS Food Standard will be launched. The revision is all about the ease of use, with improved clarity and less focus on bureaucracy and documentation. We have studied the draft version for you – here’s our summary of the main changes.   

As part of the revision process, IFS has launched a public consultation. A draft version of the IFS Food Standard Version 7 has been made available on the IFS website. All stakeholders are invited to submit their comments until November 11, 2019.

Publication is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. After the release, organisations will have nine month to implement the new/or modified requirements before the new version will come into force.

IFS Food 7 – Changes

IFS has already stated its main objectives for the new version:

  • More user friendly for the industry
    The revised version will be easier to understand. For this reason, the new version contains elements that are more prescriptive, more bullet points and clear wording.
  • Less documentation
    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.
  • More time for processes and products
    In the future, more time shall be spent in production areas – at least 50% of the total audit duration.
  • Clear auditing practices
    Version 7 has a new structure and describes the certification process more detailed. The structure of the IFS Food Version 7 Audit Protocol follows the audit path and contains the chapters “Before the IFS Food audit”, “IFS Food audit realization” and “Post IFS food audit actions”.

The revised version is designed to meet the GFSI benchmarking criteria Version 8, which are scheduled to be released in February 2020. We have put together an article about the new GFSI benchmarking criteria here.

IFS Food – new requirements  

Based on the draft version, it looks like IFS Food Version 7 will contain 13 new requirements. In Chapter 1: Governance & Commitment two new requirements have been added. The first one concerns the duty to inform the certification body in case of significant changes (1.2.6), the second one provides more detailed requirements regarding the management review (1.4.2).

In Chapter 4, we can expect 10 new requirements. The requirements for outsourced processes are more detailed. These changes are described in 4.4.6, 4.4.7 and 4.4.8. Another new requirement concerns the condition of plastic strip curtains (4.9.6.3). Regarding cleaning and disinfection, the new version requires monitoring records (4.10.3) and there are further requirements regarding the foreign material risk mitigation (4.12.1, 4.12.6). Furthermore, there is a requirement regarding the site infrastructure to prevent pest infestation (4.13.1), a requirement regarding the traceability timeframe (4.18.3) and a new requirement concerning the responsibility for food fraud (4.20.1)

Chapter 6 includes one new requirement regarding the effectiveness of the food defense plan.

IFS Food Standard Version 7 will focus on the introduction of a food safety culture. This should influence positively the values and behaviour within an organization in relation to food safety. Here we summarized all the important information regarding the topic.

Further information

As one of the leading certification bodies for the IFS Standards, DQS will continue to update its clients on the revision process and the main changes. To stay abreast of the changes, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Training and Workshops

As soon as the new IFS Food Version 7 is published we will offer workshops and training regarding the topic. The dates will be announced in our newsletter.

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