Food Safety

IFS Food

Motivation and benefits

The “International Featured Standard Food” (IFS Food) was developed by German and French retailers for auditing private label production. Since 2005 also Italian trade associations are involved in the joint project.

By now the IFS does not only address private brand (“private label”) suppliers but is also highly valued as a food specific quality assurance system, which can be used by all food producing companies.

The IFS serves as a uniform review of food safety and quality level of manufacturers. The standard aims to improve the food safety and quality of products, to enhance consumer protection and trust and to increase the cost efficiency in the food supply chain.

The summarised requirements of the retail are: Is a producer capable of delivering a safe product in conformity with the specification and in compliance with legislation?

  • one common standard with one uniform assessment system
  • verification of the food company of fulfilling assignments in food safety, legality and quality
  • accreditation and registration of qualified certification bodies and auditors
  • creating comparability and transparency throughout the supply chain
  • reducing costs among the suppliers and in trade
  • improving food safety and product quality
  • enhancing consumer protection and confidence
  • increasing cost efficiency in the food chain
  • mutual recognition of the conducted audits
  • high transparency throughout the supply chain
Target group

All producing companies in the food sector and all companies that need to verify that they meet the requirements trading companies place on product safety, quality and legality.


The IFS is oriented towards the Guidance Document of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The goal of the GFSI is to establish international safety standards for companies delivering food products to trade and commerce. For this purpose, the GFSI has compiled key criteria, against which food safety standards are measured.

The requirements of the standard are structured as follows:

  • Senior Management Responsibility
  • Quality Management and Food Safety Management System
  • Resource Management
  • Planning and Production Processes
  • Measurements, Analysis, Improvements
  • Food defense plan and external inspections

IFS Food is a uniform product standard. By implementing the requirements, it is intended to ensure that IFS Food certified companies not only produce food that complies with customer as well as legal requirements but also continually improve their food safety management system.

The results will be determined according to an exact scheme. There are four grades for assessment. Grading ranges from “A = full compliance with the criterion of the standard” to “D = the criterion specified in the standard is not fulfilled”.


Since February 2006, Quality Austria - Trainings, Zertifizierungs und Begutachtungs GmbH has been accredited for certifications based on the IFS acc. to ISO/IEC 17065 by the Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs and has thus been registered as the first Austrian certification body by the HDE (Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels– Main Association of German Retail Trade).

Other relevant standards

ISO 9001, Annex to CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev. 4 - 2003), guideline EU 2016/C 278/01, ISO 22000, ISO/TS 22002-1/-2/-4/-5 (Prerequisite Programmes on Food Safety - Food Manufacturing/Catering/Food Packaging Manufacturing/Transport and storage), FSSC 22000, IFS Standards, BRCGS Standards

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    Mr. Stefan Hainzl

    Business Development Food Safety


    Mr. Wolfgang Leger-Hillebrand

    Executive Vice President Sector Management Food Safety

    Network partner

    Ms. Elisabeth Voltmer

    Network partner, Product Expert Trainings Food Safety

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