The IFS Food Standard reviews the products and production processes to evaluate a food producer’s ability to produce safe, authentic, and quality products according to legal requirements and customer specifications.
It supports businesses in meeting the growing transparency and traceability demands in the market and contributes to improving product

integrity and increasing efficiency. Qualified IFS Auditors working for independent accredited certification bodies carry out the audits.
IFS Standards are subject to assessments by governmental or private organisations. Read more about accreditation and recognition of the IFS Food Standard here.


  • IFS Certification grows sales
  • The requirements reduce operating costs and increase efficiency
  • The scoring system drives continuous improvement
  • The IFS risk-based approach enables individual risk assessments
  • The non-prescriptive approach allows custom-made solutions
Download the factsheet for more details

IFS Food Document Hub

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Roadmap to certification


For industry training, IFS cooperates with approved training providers. Also, we offer e-learning courses in English in our webshop.

Approved IFS Training Providers offer official training for IFS Standards and Programs, internal auditing, hazard analysis, risk assessments or specific technical topics.

IFS exclusively provides the training material for these courses. This way, you can be sure that only these providers will teach you how to implement IFS requirements according to their original intention. Only our approved training providers may use the IFS Academy Logo.

The training takes place online as group and individual courses or in person and on-site.

Click here to find an IFS Training Provider in your country.


You can implement the IFS Requirements on your own or tap into the expertise, knowledge, and experience of a recognised IFS Consultant.

IFS supports you with a unique package of various tools and guiding documents (see below). Also, you can contact an IFS Representative in your region or country for advice.

Recognised IFS Consultants are industry professionals offering training, standard knowledge, internal auditing, and industry experience to guide the implementation of the IFS Requirements. IFS has trained these consultants and regularly informs them about updates and other relevant developments regarding the standards and programs. You can be sure that you will work with an excellently trained, up to date and experienced professional when choosing a recognised IFS Consultant.

Search for the most suitable consultant for your company in your region in our consultant search.

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Approved IFS Certification Bodies (CBs) provide auditing services to companies seeking IFS Certification. Their IFS Auditors perform certification audits.

The IFS Food Audit takes place annually, and at least once every third audit must be conducted unannounced. The Star Status indicates the successful passing of an unannounced audit. IFS also offers an unannounced Food Safety Check.

We firmly believe that solid auditor competence is the basis for the IFS Standards' credibility and reliability. All IFS Auditors must meet specific requirements, pass the relevant IFS Exam, and participate in an IFS Calibration Training every two years. This way, we ensure that IFS Auditors worldwide assess companies in a consistent manner.

  • Read more about Food Safety Checks here.
  • Read more about IFS Auditor Management here.
  • Use the search function to find a certification body in your country.

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Support for IFS certified sites


Connect with the IFS Network to grow your business. As a certified business, you can log in to the IFS Database to follow suppliers and search for new ones. Also, your company is visible to potential new customers and business partners.


Simplify your internal auditing with the IFS Software. Use the same software as the IFS Auditor to evaluate your product safety and quality management system efficiently. Get score results to assess areas for improvement and create internal audit reports. You can download the software from your IFS Database login area.


Document the findings of your internal audit with the IFS Audit Manager app. The app offers checklists, templates and audit planning features. Save time and easily identify gaps in your system, share findings with colleagues, and get the results to see your compliance level.

Supporting Documents

IFS Guidelines and Checklists help you with practical advice on specific technical topics. Prepare for the audit/assessment with guidance documents explaining the intention of the requirements and giving examples of auditor questions. Go to the document hub and search for guidelines to get an overview. 

Risk Management

Monitor food raw material safety risks with the IFS Trend Risk Monitor and Word Cloud. Identify food fraud issues and customise your dashboard to follow trends of interest. Receive the IFS Trend Risk Report, a monthly overview of worldwide data published. Learn more about the IFS Risk Management here.


Strengthen your product safety and quality management skills. For certified businesses, the IFS Pathway offers a technical library and various practical resources to deepen your knowledge about specific technical topics.

IFS News

Check the technical clarifications in the new IFS Food Doctrines

We recently published the doctrines for IFS Food version 7 and version 8.

In these documents, we answer frequently asked technical questions and give clarifications about the requirements. The doctrines are normative documents complementing the standard. Accordingly, companies, certification bodies and auditors must follow the clarifications contained therein.

Among other topics, you will find more details regarding specific exceptional situations in which the assessment to version 7 can be accepted after 1 January 2024. Also, we clarified the information you need to provide in the extraordinary information form related to IFS Food 8 requirement 1.2.6.

Make sure to download the doctrine for IFS Food version 7 and for IFS Food version 8 before your next audit. The IFS Food version 8 doctrine is also available in French, German, Italian and Spanish.


Our updated IFS Packaging Guideline is now available!

Packaging plays a significant role in keeping food safe as it travels through the supply chain. It is crucial that the packaging is suitable for its intended use, especially now as new bio-based and recycled materials and technologies emerge to support sustainability efforts.

The new IFS Packaging Guideline helps food companies to identify potential risks and ensure their packaging is safe. It is a supporting document with the goal of improving the communication and cooperation between IFS certified companies and their packaging suppliers.

In this second updated version of the guideline, you can find a practical approach with:

  1. A explanation of supply chain communication and responsibilities of the parties involved
  2. An overview and update regarding EU legislation and general definitions
  3. A explanation of related IFS Requirements and questions auditors might ask
  4. A step-by-step guidance of the food manufacturer’s compliance work
  5. New sustainability aspects following the European Union’s „Green Deal”
  6. An updated detailed example checklist for the evaluation of the declaration of compliance

We thank our colleagues Irmtraut Rathjens de Suster, Konstantina Papastamopoulou and Cheryl Sullivan for their great and hard work in realising this new guideline version. Our special thanks go to Thomas Gude from SQTS, Switzerland, whose experience, knowledge, and insights have made this guideline possible. We would also like to thank the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. and all other contributors for their valuable contributions and additional comments.

Get the new IFS Packaging Guideline. It is currently only available in English.


IAF and IFS Sign Scheme Endorsement Agreement

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and IFS Management GmbH have signed a Scheme Endorsement Agreement to endorse the IFS Food scheme as a sub-scope of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). The agreement was signed April 2023.

IFS Food aims to ensure the safety and quality of food products and processes, and is applicable to food processing companies and businesses that pack loose food products. The scheme covers senior management responsibility, quality and food safety management systems, resource management, planning and production processes, measurements, analysis, improvements, and food defense. It can provide several benefits to companies, including improved business reputation, compliance with regulations, higher flexibility, more effective use of resources, and the ability to trade with customers requiring third-party audits.

The recognition of IFS Food as an IAF MLA sub-scope will allow the acceptance of accredited certification to this scheme in multiple markets with only one accreditation, reducing costs and increasing value for businesses and consumers.

“The recognition of IFS Food as an IAF MLA sub-scope underscores the importance of reliable and consistent food safety practices in the international market. This recognition will enable businesses to demonstrate their competence and enhance consumer confidence, ultimately leading to safer and higher-quality food products for all,” said Emanuele Riva, IAF Chair.

“Our global network places great emphasis on the integrity of our standards. IFS is a global pioneer in establishing an integrity program and select and training auditors, who must pass a written and oral exam with us. Accreditation plays an essential role in ensuring integrity. With the IAF and its members, an independent body verifies that our standards meet all the required criteria. The recognition of IFS Food versions 7 and 8 under the IAF MLA contributes significantly to our certificates being recognized and trusted worldwide,” said Stephan Tromp, IFS Managing Director.

About IAF:

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is a global association of accreditation bodies, conformity assessment body associations and other organizations involved in conformity assessment in fields including validation and verification and the certification of management systems, products, processes, services and persons.

IAF promotes the worldwide acceptance of certificates of conformity and validation/verification statements issued by conformity assessment bodies accredited by IAF MLA signatories, and seeks to add value for all stakeholders through its activities and programs.

About IFS:

IFS Management GmbH, owned by the retail associations HDE and FCD, develops globally recognized product quality and safety standards and development programs for companies within the food and consumer goods supply chain companies. IFS comprises six different food and non-food standards and four development programs. These assess if private label and branded product suppliers can deliver safe, quality products in line with regulations and customer specifications. This way, IFS helps ensure that consumers can trust that the products they find on retail shelves are safe and of good quality.

IFS Food version 8 - setting new standards in food safety certification

Today, we are happy to announce the publication of IFS Food version 8. The IFS Food Standard reviews the products and production processes to evaluate a food producer’s ability to produce safe, authentic, and quality products according to legal requirements and customer specifications.

“IFS Food version 8 is the result of a remarkable, global team effort. We have taken up the feedback from our global network and updated the standard to current events and expectations in the broad field of food safety. Many renowned experts from retailers, food producers and certification bodies in our committees and working groups have contributed their expertise to further optimise the standard according to the needs of the market. I am convinced that version 8 sets a new standard and will contribute to establishing a vivid food safety culture”, says Stephan Tromp, IFS Managing Director.


The new version is state of the art in terms of food safety

In this new version, you will find an optimised protocol, a new definition of the B-scoring, and the introduction of a star status to highlight unannounced audits. These updates facilitate efficient working with the standard for all parties involved.

“The IFS Food Standard is designed to promote continuous improvement of the companies certified to it. Accordingly, we at IFS have the ambition to continually adapt and enhance it further. This way, our certified companies and other stakeholders can rely on us to be in tune with the latest developments”, adds Chryssa Dimitriadis, Director of Standard Management at IFS.


21 years of providing high-quality, widely accepted and trusted standards

We launched the first IFS Food Standard 21 years ago. Having over 20,000 IFS Food Certificates today, IFS has become a leading standard worldwide and the market leader in Europe. As a joint venture of two leading retail associations, major retail and wholesale companies trust our standards fit their specific needs. Also, key food services companies are convinced of the quality of our standards and work with us. They all know that we set the highest standards in auditor qualification and have a strong and consistent integrity program. It contributes to the high quality and reliability of our certification. Also, it ensures that consumers find safe and good quality private label products in their stores.


IFS-certified companies benefit from a unique support package

IFS offers guidance, like guidelines and various tools, to support suppliers in reaching IFS Food Certification and further enhancing their food safety and quality management. Approved IFS Training Providers offer training based on IFS Materials, and recognised IFS Consultants can support you with implementing the requirements and training your staff.


International recognition

IFS Food version 8 accreditation process is in progress with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in order to be recognised under the sub-scopes of product certification of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). IAF MLA signatories mutually recognise accredited certification. It helps to reduce barriers to trade and promote food safety, as accredited certificates are recognised in many markets based on a single accreditation.

IFS also has started the application procedure with GFSI and hopes to achieve recognition to the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements for IFS Food version 8 soon.


More information

The standard is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish on our website. We will provide further translations at a later stage and inform you accordingly.

For more information about the IFS Food Standard, please visit our IFS Food page.
For all significant information about Food version 8, read the whole newsletter here.

Important Notification about GFSI suspension

Today GFSI has publicly announced, without explanation to the public, that the IFS GFSI benchmark is suspended for three months.

This has nothing to do with the validity of existing IFS Certificates.

From our point of view there is no professional food safety reasons for the suspension which we will prove in our Appeal. Rather, we believe that the reasons for the suspension lie in the strained relationship between IFS and GFSI, as IFS has had the legality of the GFSI race-to-the-top reviewed by the Federal Cartel Office under antitrust and competition law.

IFS had invited GFSI to the IFS Board for clarification, but GFSI refused and is now pursuing a confrontational path, which we very much regret.

With this suspension, GFSI calls into question the integrity of the IFS. The IFS will therefore take legal action against GFSI's activities and has already referred the case to its lawyer.

Finally, we would like to let you know that all IFS Certificates are still valid and that the retailers and wholesalers from the IFS Network have clearly informed us that these certificates will also be recognised during the GFSI suspension.

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