QS. Your Quality Scheme for Food

Adding value with our service portfolio

Adding value with our service portfolio

Product certification / Voluntary assessment

Test standard:
Quality and certification provisions defined by the standard owner for the respective product area (www.q-s.de)

Standard owner:
QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH


What does the standard “QS. Your quality scheme for food” cover?

The QS quality scheme for food is a quality assurance scheme for fresh food from farm to shop. It includes requirements for controls, guarantees of origin and food labelling. The scheme applies to sectors such as:

  • Feed
  • Animal husbandry / Transport
  • Meat
  • Food retail
  • Wholesale
  • Logistics
  • Production of fruit, vegetables and potatoes
  • Preparation/processing of fruit, vegetables and potatoes

Quality assurance within the QS quality scheme for food is based on three interacting inspection levels. The first is self-assessment by the companies. Here, the companies themselves ensure that they check and document all requirements imposed on them. The second level of the QS scheme comprises two essential building blocks: third-party checks (audit) of the companies by qualified auditors, and the companies’ participation in the respective monitoring programmes. “Auditing of the auditor” by the standard owner makes up the third level, and covers assessment of certification bodies, auditors and laboratories.

  • What do “certification” or the issue of a “QS. Your quality scheme for food” certification mark based on an audit carried out by TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH mean?
    • The customer has submitted to voluntary assessment (audit) in accordance with defined criteria (certification standard).
    • A certificate and/or the authorisation to use the certification mark are only issued if the assessment (audit) shows that all MUST criteria have been fulfilled and does not reveal any other major non-conformities with the requirements of the relevant standard.
    • Certificates and/or certification marks are valid for a limited period of time (depending on the audit result). The validity of individual certificates can be checked in the certificate databases of TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH or the database of the standard owner.
      Certification for the purpose of maintenance of approval is carried out at the following intervals:


    Cattle farming, pig farming, production, animal transport

    Feed, poultry farming, farming/production coordinator, slaughtering/deboning (livestock transport), processing, meat wholesale, butchery, food retail (not coordinated), wholesale and preparation/processing of fruit, vegetables and potatoes


    3 years

    2 years


    2 years

    1 year


    1 year

    6 months

    • Unannounced audits are carried out in the following sectors:
    • Feed, farming, slaughtering/deboning, processing, food retail and meat wholesale and in the area of wholesale and preparation/processing of fruit, vegetables and potatoes.
    • Unannounced audits are performed between two announced regular audits, or the regular audits as such are carried out as unannounced audits.
    • Unannounced audits by the standard owner, the accreditation body and the certification organisation for a specific reason are possible at any time.


  • How is the audit performed?

    Independent and qualified experts (auditors) apply the following auditing techniques: 

    • Document review:
    • Evaluation of the organisation’s provisions and/or documentation to ensure systematic control of all processes relevant for food safety.
    • Auditing of the food safety management system


    • On-site inspection of the premises
    • Review of operational, personal and process hygiene
    • Assessment of the suitability of packaging materials and machinery
    • Assessment of product labelling (e.g. allergens, correctness, scope)
    • Review of qualification, training status and employee expertise
    • Evaluation of crisis management including complaints and recall processes
    • Guarantees of origin, plausibility checks, separation of the flow of goods
    • Compliance with product-specific requirements
    • The objective of the test is to uncover non-conformities with the requirements and systematic non-conformities in quality assurance.

  • What is beyond the scope of certification in accordance with the “QS. Your quality scheme for food” standard?

    Audits and analyses are always based on sampling. Given this, it is impossible to inspect every single product or every single step of production. TÜV SÜD certification thus cannot give a 100% guarantee that all products of a certified company are free from non-conformities or that the organisation meets the criteria of the standard at all times, even though this is one of the key objectives of the QS. Your quality scheme for food“ standard.



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