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A Closer Look At Incorrect Food Labelling

One of the most typical reasons for food recalls throughout the world is incorrect or improper food labelling. Even though this may appear to be an insignificant error, there are serious consequences of it.

There is now more attention on food labelling by regulatory authorities as well as consumers. So, this means that these seemingly insignificant errors will cost your company. The top three consequences of improper food labelling are consumer action, regulatory action as well as recall of your products.

Incorrect food packaging and the consequences

Now, it depends on the type of food products that your company handles and sells and the consequences would be dependent on this. In the worst possible scenario, improper labelling could cause the death of a consumer. This can happen if the food is incorrectly labelled to indicate the presence of a food allergen that the consumer is allergic to. The less serious consequences are as follows.

  • Reduction or loss of revenue to the business
  • Withdrawal or recall of the food product
  • Bad media exposure
  • Consumer action against your company
  • Delays in production
  • Consumers become less confident in your company and the food products that you offer
  • Higher costs for your business operation in order to fix the issue

How can food labels be incorrect?

There are numerous causes that can lead to improper food labelling such as substituting ingredients, insufficient cleaning, recipe changes, insufficient knowledge, supplier changes, etc. We will now take a deeper look at these.

Substituting ingredients or raw materials

When you don’t have availability of the original ingredients or raw materials then substituting ingredients can greatly affect your labelling and make it incorrect. The original label would have been based on the original ingredients. So, if there are changes, this will impact the ingredients listed on the label as well as the nutritional data that is placed on the label.

Original recipe alterations

If you end up changing your formula or recipe in any way, this will make your labels and nutritional information incorrect. If there is a reformulation of your food product, this can also impact the final weight of the product and the serving size which is essential on your label. High-quality bottle label printing represents your brand value.

Insufficient cleaning

If the equipment that you use to create or process your food products is not properly cleaned, this could cause food residue or even food allergens to remain on them. Keep in mind that these allergens are not placed on your ingredient list or on your label which can make your customers allergic to your products. This can cause a recall of your products and you may even lose customers or even kill them if they are allergic.

Supplier changes

When you change suppliers, this can provide savings on raw ingredients. With that said, different brands of the same raw ingredient would be different since they would have different sub-ingredients. This typically happens with pre-mixes which would include various allergens and additives. The end product would then have incorrect labelling if you did not assess the new supplier’s raw materials and change your label accordingly.

Insufficient knowledge

Lastly, being unaware or not knowledgeable is not regarded as a defence according to the law. It is essential that your business always remains knowledgeable and up to date with the current laws around labelling. You also need to regularly review your labels to ensure that your raw ingredient information is accurate so that you remain compliant. It is also essential that you thoroughly check all of your packaging proofs before you send them to be printed and used. Once you have a label review process in place, it will ensure that you remain in compliance and save you a lot of stress and money in the long term.