It seems like a pretty easy concept but unfortunately packing food product into incorrect food packaging is an all to common practice within the food industry. This error of judgement, can have the potential to cause customer illness and will often lead to a food product recall. In this post, find out consequences of this issue along with prevention strategies that will help your business avoid this issue.
There are many examples of where food product has been packed into the incorrect food packaging. You only need to check your local food recall list. One of the worst that I have heard about is a food company that packed chocolate coated peanuts into packaging designed for chocolate coated sultanas (raisins).
Unfortunately, it not only occurred once, but twice, within 6 months. For this to happen again, it is clear to me that the business had not firstly, identified the original root cause and secondly, they had not implemented sufficient procedures to prevent a reoccurrence.
Depending on your type of food business and the food products that you handle, there can be varying consequences associated with packing the product into the incorrect food packaging. The worse case scenario is causing the death of one of your consumers. This can occur if the mislabelled or incorrectly packaged product contains a food allergen that the consumer maybe allergic to. In the peanut example above, it was only through good luck that a vulnerable consumer did not eat the product.
Other less severe consequences of incorrect food packaging can include:
In the words of Desiderius Erasmus “Prevention is better than cure”. So, what can you do to stop product being packed into the incorrect food packaging in your food business? Here are a few strategies you may like to implement.
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Effective regular monitoring and verification of all steps in the packing process is paramount. When you have multiple effective check points implemented, the risk of packing the product into the incorrect food packaging is significantly minimised.
Has this issue ever occurred in your food business? Maybe you were lucky enough to identify non-conforming product before it left your facility. Share your thoughts and experiences with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.