Due to the work in the QS network, there is a systematic control of fresh food in Germany. This creates a high level of safety for meat and sausage products, fruit, vegetables and potatoes. The QS standards for the production and marketing of meat and sausage as well as fruit, vegetables and potatoes define the requirements for assured processes and product quality. All partners in the QS network are regularly checked by independent auditors. Comprehensive monitoring programmes and targeted laboratory analyses prove the reliable quality assurance. Wherever it is important for the reliability of food and feed or the health of the livestock, they exceed the legal requirements. Only foods that are produced and marketed according to the QS requirements at all stages, bear the QS certification mark.
Quality assurance in the QS scheme is based on three interacting inspection levels:
- The companies in the QS network themselves ensure that they reliably check and conscientiously document all the QS requirements placed on them by means of their own self-assessment. Independently of this, the companies must carry out their self-control at least once a year as part of a company self-assessment. QS supports the people involved in reliably implementing all legal regulations and specific requirements for food safety.
- All partners in the QS network are regularly checked by independent auditors. They check the production and marketing processes as well as their documentation on site. Additional product controls are carried out in form of monitoring programmes.
- Within the framework of the scheme integrity system (SIKS), QS ensures that quality assurance works perfectly from farm to shop. The work of the auditors and laboratories is also regularly checked by QS.
Inspections in the QS scheme are carried out on a risk-oriented basis. This means that the period between two inspections depends on how a business performs in the audit. Businesses where nonconformities and defects are found are inspected more frequently - businesses that perform very well are inspected less frequently.
If serious violations of QS requirements are identified during the audits, sanction proceedings are initiated and an independent sanction board is involved. Sanctions such as fines can be imposed or companies can be excluded from the QS network.
Further information about the QS scheme can be found here.