IFS International Food Standard Certification

IFS International Food Standard Certification

What is Food Safety in the World?

Today, both in developed and developing countries, all activities aimed at providing food to consumers are handled within the scope of the basic services provided to citizens by official institutions. Therefore, it is extremely important that all stages of production can be monitored from the field to the kitchen of consumers in the food safety chain.

Today, people around the world are both concerned about the risks and nutritional values ​​of foodstuffs introduced to the market and are more interested in these issues than before. At the same time, demands from government agencies for food security and protection of people are increasing.

With the increase in trade between countries without realizing the near and far away, the world has entered into a new formation in food trade with the fast and freshness of the produced foodstuffs all over the world. In the face of this situation, countries importing and exporting these products have made legal arrangements to strengthen food control systems and develop risk-based control strategies. Within this framework, the World Trade Agreements in the international arena have influenced the development of countries and regulations and the formation of new food standards. Even developed countries, which have made significant progress in food safety, are updating their systems by recognizing new food-borne risks that arise in various ways over time.

In response to these developments, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization support the establishment of national food control systems based on scientific principles and rules that will cover all enterprises in the food chain, especially in developing countries.

In most developing countries, food control is shared among different authorities, creating a lack of authority and lack of coordination. At the same time, different legal arrangements have been made regarding food control studies. In these principles, where food control is provided through multiple systems, a single organization needs to develop a strategy for strengthening public health, preventing fraud and deception, eliminating food imitation and adulteration and facilitating trade.

What is the IFS International Food Standard?

The occurrence and recurrence rates of diseases caused by foodstuffs are increasing in the world. On the other hand, conflicts between countries are increasing in meeting the food safety and quality criteria. Because of these increases, food safety practices have started to be discussed internationally. Developed countries have begun to question their own systems due to the food-borne crises. As a result, they began to revise their food control systems. In these studies, the following points were mainly questioned:

  • Ability of applications to prevent increasing foodborne problems
  • Ability to follow rapidly developing technologies in production, processing and marketing activities in food industry
  • Development of food control systems based on scientific principles for the protection of human health
  • Harmonization of international food trade, food safety and quality standards
  • People's changing lifestyles and rapid urbanization
  • Increasing consumer awareness of food safety and quality and increasing demands from government agencies

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is an organization formed by around forty commercial enterprises based in North America, Europe and Australia. This organization has brought together key actors in the food sector to co-operate in food safety management systems worldwide. With the vision of safe food wherever consumers are, this organization aims to prepare a global food safety standard and to enable businesses in the food industry to sell more reliable food products.

The objectives of the Global Food Safety Initiative are:

  • To reduce the food safety risks of enterprises by establishing proximity between different food safety management systems.
  • Reduce costs in the global food system by eliminating redundancies and increasing operational efficiency
  • To improve competencies and capacity in food safety to create consistent and efficient global food systems
  • Creating a unique international platform by creating information exchange and collaboration

The International Food Standard, IFS International Food Standard, emerged this way in 2000. With this standard, it is ensured that food producing companies and suppliers provide foodstuffs suitable for food safety and hygiene to the market. In 2012, the sixth update of the IFS standard was made. This standard makes the food safety standard measurable.

The following objectives were taken into consideration when preparing the IFS International Food Standard:

  • Establish a common standard and establish a single evaluation system
  • Accept accredited certification bodies and auditors
  • To be comparable and transparent throughout the entire supply chain
  • To reduce the costs of food producing companies and suppliers

Prior to the publication of the IFS International Food Standard, German, French, Italian and other major retail chains used their own systems to ensure the food safety of their own branded products and carried out their own audits. In this way, the viewpoints of the enterprises to standards and audits were different. This left food producing companies in a difficult position. The IFS standard provides a common approach to compliance and audits. IFS International Food Standard ensures both food safety and controls the product quality of food producing companies. Today, not only in European countries, this standard is accepted all over the world.

The structure of this standard is as follows:

  • Basic requirements for auditing (Quality Management System, risk management, HACCP standard, processes, documentation and records, senior management responsibility, resource management, production processes, measurement, analysis and improvements)
  • Storage and distribution activities (product contact, maintenance, traceability, pest control, hygiene, loading area and so on)
  • Requirements for transport activities (packaging and transport)

What IFS International Food Standard brings to businesses:

  • Businesses can easily enter the domestic and foreign markets
  • Particularly in the European Union countries it gains a significant competitive advantage
  • Food safety, quality and hygiene requirements are met
  • Risks threatening food safety are taken under control
  • Consumers' confidence in these businesses increases
  • Production errors decrease and business productivity increases



The firm, which provides auditing, supervision and certification services to internationally recognized standards, also provides periodic inspection, testing and control services.

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