Simple Causes of Incorrect Food Labeling
Perhaps the leading cause of food recalls around the world is incorrect food labeling. While mistakes in food labeling may seem like a minor issue or oversight, these mistakes can have some very serious consequences.
With interest in food labeling growing among consumers and regulatory agencies, ensuring that you avoid such errors is critical to your business. The potential consequences for incorrect food labeling can include regulatory action, consumer action, and product recalls.
Consequences of incorrect food packaging
The repercussions of incorrect food labeling will vary depending on your type of food business or the kind of food that you deal with – with the worst possible outcome being the death of a consumer. This often occurs when a mislabeled or incorrectly packaged food product contains an allergen that the consumer is allergic to. Here are some less severe consequences of incorrect food packaging:
- Negative media coverage
- A loss in business revenue
- Production disruption
- Increased business operational costs associated with rectifications
- Private consumer action
- Loss of reputation and consumer confidence in your products or business
- Food recall or withdrawal
Common causes of inaccurate food labeling
There are many different reasons why food labeling mistakes happen including lack of knowledge, ingredient or raw material substitution, recipe alterations, improper cleaning, and a change of supplier. Here is a closer look at these causes:
Ingredient/raw material substitution
Changing the original ingredients, for example, as a result of a shortage will affect your labeling and can lead to errors in food labeling. Your label would have originally been made based on a particular brand or kind of ingredient. Any alterations will necessitate a change in your ingredient listing and nutritional data. Hire an expert bottle label maker company to customize high-quality product labeling in order to grow your business.
When production equipment is not cleaned properly or adequately, residues of food allergens may be left behind. If these allergens end up in the final product and are not declared on the label or in the ingredient list, you may end up facing consequences like a product recall or the death of a customer allergic to the said ingredient.
Changes to the original recipe
Any changes made to your recipe essentially render both your current ingredients listing and nutritional data inaccurate. These alterations may also impact the final product’s weight and serving sizes – of which both are required for your label in the product weight and nutrition panel.
While switching suppliers may offer your business savings in ingredient costs, different brands may consist of different compound ingredients (sub-ingredients). This often occurs with “pre-mixes” which may contain various additives and allergens. Your new supplier might also have different allergen content from your previous one. When you fail to carefully assess the impact of changing your original supplier and their raw materials will have on your current product labeling, you can end up with an incorrectly labeled final product.
Lack of knowledge
Not knowing is never a defense in the eyes of the law. It is therefore important to ensure that you are up-to-date with all the current labeling laws and ensure to check your current labels against raw ingredients and recipes to ensure that you stay in compliance with the laws and regulations. Do a careful review of all packaging proofs before they are printed and used. Doing this simple task can help save your business a lot of problems.