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Update on Food Safety Incidents – what you need to do to assure that your certification is maintained?
We would like to draw your attention to important requirements regarding food safety incidents, e.g. recalls and withdrawals, how you manage them and report and notify Certima BV about this. Keep in mind that the way you handle food safety incidents has a direct impact on your certificate. Read on to know what you need to do to assure that your certification is maintained.
For Food Safety Incidents including: product recall(s), product recall(s) and / or withdrawal(s) by official order concerning food safety and / or food fraud reasons or any visit from health authorities which resulted in notifications and / or penalties issued by authorities, Certima BV shall be informed within three (3) working days. Recalls on products out of the certified scope (exclusions) shall also be reported as the cause may have a relation with products in the certified scope.
If Certima BV is not informed about a food safety incident (on time), we may need to suspend the certificate until you prove that your FSMS is working efficiently by informing us about incident details (supported with evidences) and how it is handled.
Reporting should be done by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to supply consistent information, certified customers need to fill out the “Notification Form Food Safety Incidents including Recall/Withdrawal”. You can find the form on our website: https://certima.org/certima/recall-management/. This form has to be completed and sent to Certima as soon as possible. Furthermore, certified customers are responsible for investigating and subsequently providing the details including the Correction, Corrective Actions and Root Cause Analysis regarding the incident. An Incident manager at Certima shall review the submitted information in the completed form and all additionally provided documents, and evaluate whether the incident has been managed in a satisfactory way and whether the certificate can be maintained. All information will be treated strictly confidential, but it will be reported to the scheme owners as per their strict protocols for reporting of food safety incidents. The information will be reported to the accreditation bodies at their request. Incidents having a major impact on public safety and/or generating a lot of media interest have to be reported to Certima pro-actively.
BRCGS requires from certification bodies to notify BRCGS within 2 working days of receiving the recall information (and other incidents) by completing recall submission form on BRCGS Directory with the product safety incident details received from the site. However, this initial notification should contain basic product, site, and incident details. The remaining information can be added at a later date, once the certification body review is complete. This remaining information should be updated within 3 weeks of the date of recall (i.e. 21 calendar days) by the Certification Body.
With the version 7 of the IFS Food IFS has required the reporting of extraordinary information about certified customers including food safety incidents such as product recalls, product withdrawals by official order concerning food safety and food fraud reasons, or any visit from health authorities which resulted in notifications or penalties issued by authorities, the certification body shall be informed. With IFS Food version 8 the required information is a lot more detailed and strict deadlines will be introduced.
To allow enough time for your preparation to meet the upcoming requirements by IFS, hereby a brief extract from the draft IFS Food v8 about handling and reporting food safety incidents:
<<<Notifications to the certification body
During the certification cycle, the senior management of the company shall ensure that the certification body is informed in due time about any changes that may affect the company’s ability to conform to the certification requirements (e.g. recall, alert on products, changes in organization and management, important modifications on the products and/or the production methods, changes in contact address and production sites, new address of the production site, etc.). The details shall be defined and agreed between both parties. As required in the IFS Food Audit checklist (Part 2), requirement 1.2.6, some specific situations require a notification to the certification body within three (3) working days.
After receiving such information from the sites (limited to the three (3) specific situations requiring a company notification within three (3) working days), the certification body shall:
- Fill out in English the relevant form provided in the IFS Database and send it back to IFS Management GmbH within three (3) working days after receiving the information from the company.
- Provide to IFS Management GmbH a root cause analysis and progress of the investigation within ten (10) working days (after submitting the form).
It is the certification body’s responsibility to investigate each situation and decide any action on the IFS Certification status.>>>
For more information and audit requests you can contact us at: email@example.com.
Our team is proud to inform you that Certima BV has become an IFS approved training provider and you can expect our first IFS trainings in Q1 2023.
An IFS Training Provider is a training center recognized by IFS Management GmbH that provides specific training courses on different topics with the aim to implement and get insights into IFS standards in the food quality and safety field.
In November 2022 Certima BV has joined the IFS Academy and has been recognized as an IFS Training Provider.
The list of approved training providers can be found here: IFS Database – Training centers (ifs-certification.com)
You can expect our first IFS trainings in Q1 2023.
On the basis of the assessment performed earlier in 2022 the RvA has extended the validity of Certima’s declaration of accreditation: https://www.rva.nl/en/alle-geaccrediteerden/?search=certima&sort=ASC;rva_Accrnr&page=1
Our organization continues to comply demonstrably with the full scope of the accreditation requirements with due observance of the applicable interpretation and application documents as specified on the website of the RvA (www.rva.nl).
In response to the situation in Ukraine and the problem of disrupted supply chains, supply bottlenecks for raw materials and the resulting influences on supplier and raw material management as well as on customer specification and recipe management in terms of allergen, GMO and labelling, IFS have issued the following guidance for IFS stakeholders: IFS Database – IFS Blog – Supply chain disruption through Ukraine crisis – Guidance for IFS Stakeholders (ifs-certification.com).
Certified customers should take into account that all necessary changes in products and process management should be comprehensive. This comprehensive documentation and communication must be available during the next IFS Assessment. Documentation of the issues, decisions and measures taken and communication of the changes made in order to maintain production and meet delivery obligations, should be maintained.
Internal Auditor Course (IFS&BRC based)
The essential skills for internal auditing of Food Safety Management System based on IFS and/or BRC;
- coming in Q2 2022, in Dutch.
Lead Auditor Course (IFS&BRC based)
IFS&BRC based 5days Lead Auditor Course – the central stepping stone for a career in food safety auditing;
- coming in Q2 2022, in English.
IFS has announced its approach to remote auditing. Currently broker companies that are already IFS Broker certified can take advantage of the option for performing of their next certification audit remotely.
We believe that remote audits add value to all participants in the auditing and certification process whenever it is feasible and can be performed in an adequate manner. It brings in more efficiency for certified companies, decreases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and additionally improves auditors’ work-life balance.
If you would like to take advantage of our special conditions for your next remote IFS Broker audit, please contact us here .
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made remote auditing more feasible.
To provide full guidance on the approach to remote auditing, IFS Management have designed an additional audit protocol on how to conduct an IFS Broker remote audit to ensure a robust audit process by applying remote ICT for the evaluation of IFS Broker Version 3 requirements.
The remote option is voluntary and needs to be agreed well in advance between the certification body and the company subject to IFS Broker certification (e.g. if a scheduled IFS on-site audit cannot take place due to Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) travel / access restrictions or if the nature of a broker is decentralised and runs without a centralised office (co-working spaces, “shared office”structures), or when “face-to-face” methods are not essential for the effectiveness of conducting the audit).
Prior to audit preparation and as a pre-requisite, the certification body shall conduct a risk assessment to determine whether it is feasible to apply the remote audit option.
The following factors shall be considered, but are not limited to:
- adequate cooperation from the auditee (e.g. access to an IT system, availability and capability of the auditee to use technology such as remote ICT);
- resources including access to sufficient, adequate and appropriate information and communication technology, including IT support for the ICT platform, if necessary;
- the limitation of the site’s willingness to share the information remotely.
Source: IFS Management GbmH
A number of important changes are coming with new version 7 of IFS Food.
Few of them are:
- Additional requirements added for Food safety culture;
- Outsourced processes, unannounced audits, multi-legal entitites;
- Changes structure of the standard
- More time of audit time dedicated to production/onsite evaluation
- Change in the scoring system
- More specific requirements to corrections and corrective actions and their closing
More information about the changes in IFS Food ver.7 you would learn if you join our dedicated events. The first one will be this autumn in the Netherlands. Stay tuned to hear about our events in your region.
To register, please send an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are exporting food to the U.S. and want to assure that your exports continue uninterruptedly you need to implement FSMA requirements into your Food Safety Management System.
Why it’s important to attend a PCQI course?
The FSMA regulation requires that certain activities must be implemented by a “Preventive Controls Qualified Individual” (PCQI) who has “successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls”.
The paved way to gain knowledge, understanding and skills for implementing FSMA requirements is to attend a PCQI course. The participants receive a certification of completion as Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals (PCQI). Our courses are delivered by FSPCA qualified trainers in several languages and locations throughout Europe.
REGISTER NOW for our upcoming PCQI training coures:
- ONLINE In German language with our trainer Angelie Jansen – 25-28 May 2020
To register, please send an email at email@example.com