The new version of the IFS Food Standard will be published in January 2023. Just two years after the publication of IFS Food 7, the new version is in the starting blocks. The transition period from IFS Food 7 to IFS Food 8 will begin in July 2023, and IFS Food 8 will become mandatory in October 2023. IFS cites adaptation to the new Codex Alimentarius and the upcoming ISO 22003-2 for product and process standards as reasons for the revision. Read on to find out what changes you can expect in IFS Food Version 8.
The revision of IFS Food is particularly concerned with merging standard documents and thus also with simplifying the application of the standard. In addition, problems from Version 7 that were reported back by stakeholders will be addressed. Among other things, the existing assessment system is to be revised, in particular the B assessment.
In general, the IFS is concerned to further sharpen the product focus and process approach with the new version. To this end, some criteria are to be reallocated so that the audit trail can be followed more closely. In addition, the consistency and accuracy of the formulations are to be improved, among other things with regard to unannounced audits and in particular in the event of a failed audit. The checklist is also to be revised in terms of consistency and accuracy.
Furthermore, the revision aims to simplify the recording of mandatory information, most of which is prescribed by the GFSI. This should save time during the audit and the subsequent technical review. With the current version, auditors currently need between 1 - 1.5 days to write reports, and an additional 6 - 8 hours are required for the technical audit. This does not take into account the creation of certificates and the transfer of the information in the database.
The IFS Food Doctrine is also affected by the revision. Its content is to be condensed and reporting is to be simplified with the help of the introduction of new software, especially the filling of mandatory fields.
According to IFS, the main reasons for the rapid revision of the standard are to align it with the new Codex Alimentarius and the upcoming ISO 22003-2 for product and process standards. The impact on companies is currently considered low by our IFS expert Joachim Mehnert.
The timeline for IFS Food version 8
The new version of IFS Food will be published in January 2023, with the transition period starting in July 2023. IFS Food 8 will become mandatory from October 2023. The first draft of IFS Food 8 has already been published and can be viewed here.