A guide to food labels and adhesives in the food service industry
As the leading provider of food safety solutions in Australia, excellence in customer service is a central value at the core of everything we do at Fildes Food Safety. Part of this commitment is delivered through educational resources to provide helpful information to owners and operators of commercial kitchens and other food businesses.
As such, Fildes have produced a comprehensive e-book as a free guide to food labels and adhesives in the food service industry. An effective food labelling system is essential in addressing issues of food safety, best working practices and the reduction of waste. The qualities of the labels themselves and the adhesives used can therefore have a significant impact on their effectiveness across a range of specific uses that the guide outlines.
Firstly, the guide addresses the use of labels for food safety in terms of appropriate storage and rotation. In line with the principles of the First In, First Out rule, clear, well-designed food labels help all staff quickly and reliably follow the system by identifying foods to use first along with shelf life, day and date of the week information. Not only does a written or colour coded system prevent unnecessary waste but also helps to protect the public’s health by minimizing the risk of illness caused by spoiled food.
Another vital health consideration is dealing with customers who present food allergies or intolerances. The guide explains how clear and effective labelling can make for easy identification of dishes which contain common food allergens. Other health concerns are covered, including labelling for special requirements in the healthcare sector in line with relevant rules. Dietary requirement labels are also considered in terms of labelling for food preferences such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options in order to remain relevant to diverse customer needs.
Beyond the labels themselves, the type of adhesive used to apply them to food containers and food packaging is also an important factor which is more often overlooked. The guide clearly explains the adhesive options available in the Fildes Food Safety range and the particular uses that each is best suited to, including guidance on best practice for removing food labels and any adhesive residue which could harbour dangerous bacteria. Removable food labels are designed to be utilized as single use options and are therefore easy to apply and remove. These labels commonly contain the types of key food information described above in written form and within a colour-coded system.
Permanent food safety labels use a stronger adhesive which makes them more suitable for use on packaging which will not be reused. The adhesive forms a strong bond with the surface when applied in dry conditions and strengthens over time to withstand freezer conditions and moisture. Durable food labels are even more hard-wearing but much easier to remove and can be used on an array of reusable containers in more extreme cold and wet conditions. Finally, the guide deals with dissolvable labels. These are made of biodegradable material that simply breaks down and washes away as small particles which will not block pipes. This provides ease and convenience among other benefits.