Completing verification checks of your food labels can save your business thousands of dollars along with avoiding a food product recall. In this post, find out one of the simplest checks that you can implement within your food business to help avoid a whole lot of stress.
Before we jump into this simple check, it is good to understand the type of food labels under consideration. If your food business receives any type of pre-printed label or pre-printed packaging, this check applies to you. These types of food labels or food packaging may show information relating to your finished product including (but not limited to):
As a rule, any pre-printed food labels or food packaging will have been designed and approved by the relevant authority in your business. This may be your compliance manager, QA representative or marketing team. Approved artwork is provided by your design or printing company prior to any print job commencing. This is to ensure that all information in the ‘proof’ is correct. As part of the artwork approval process, you are required to verify that all information is true and correct.
When any pre-printed food labels or food packaging is received into your food business, a check should be made before allowing it to be used in the production area. This check involves comparing the correctness of the received packaging material against the approved food label or food packaging artwork proof.
Like any type of verification activity, a record should be kept evidencing that the check was undertaken. You may choose to record the product name, date received, packaging or food label batch codes, name and signature of the person who undertook the review, a copy of the approved artwork proof and an indication of which areas have been checked.
A word of advice, when you undertake your checks, don’t forget to include the printed barcode or Q-Code. I have been privy to situations where the pre-printed packaging has included to wrong barcode or scanning code. On all occasions, a food recall was required as the product was not able to be scanned correctly by the retailers.
Do you currently implement a food label verification check when labels or packaging are received into your food business? Share your thoughts with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.