Is Your Food Packaging Meeting Safety Regulations?

Map trays

So you’re ready to send your edible product out into the world, or at least onto the shelves of a local grocery store. Have you thought of the packaging? In today’s supermarkets, products are sent through packaging machines of all types, from shrink bags to plastic clamshell trays. But there is more to consider than what container will best catch the consumer’s eye. Finding good food safe plastics and detecting possible contamination from foreign objects are also vital.

Food Safe Plastics: BPA is Only the Beginning.

A container must be made to specifically hold a consumable substance to be considered safe. Otherwise, chemicals from the plastic could leach into the food or drink. This is where the BPA scare came from, as many artificially created chemicals cannot be eliminated from the body easily. Instead, the chemical compound builds up and causes problems.

Keep Unsafe Objects Out of Products: Use X-Ray Food Inspections.

Did you know that food can have metallic contaminants? Ferrous, non-ferrous, and even stainless steel can turn up in food. The good news is that x-ray food inspections can detect these contaminants. An x-ray food inspection machine is much more sensitive than a typical metal detector, which can only detect only 2.5 to 3.5 millimeters of matter. By contrast, an x-ray food inspection can detect 1.5 millimeters or even less, which keeps food much safer. You don’t want a customer to find a piece of metal no matter how tiny, especially with social media.

Customers Like Brands That Care About Their Carbon Footprint.

How much plastic do you throw away? We all know we should do our part and reduce, reuse, and recycle. Take the time to decide how your company will do their part, and more importantly, how that information will be made obvious to the customer. As much as 52% of shoppers look at how a brand gives back to the environment, and make their purchases accordingly. Use that to your advantage.

Packaging is an important part of marketing your product. Consumers want to know that the container is safe and will not poison their food. They also do not want to find anything in their food that does not belong there, such as bits of metal. Finally, think about what your company does to minimize their carbon footprint. And make sure the package states that, and loudly.

Food Service Industries Rely on Fresh and Safe Products

Industrial checkweighers

The things that we do for our children!
Who would have thought that when your daughter signed up for high school band it would mean that you would be learning how a vertical form fill seal machine and and pouch filling machine worked? These skills, however, were an important part of the beginning of your daughter’s high school career.
Because her freshman year coincided with the once every four year trip, working the concession stands at the College Baseball World Series would be even more important than other years. As a parent of a student who would be taking the trip to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, you would be required to cover the costs for your daughter’s airline ticket and hotel accommodations, but you still had to also help with the group’s largest fundraising requirement: working six sessions at the CWS concession stands. And while you anticipated that registering for band would teach your daughter more about musicianship and marching, you did not anticipate that you would be learning so much about the intricacies of a vertical form fill seal machine and other concession stand details. When you are selling food to thousands of people every hour, though, concession stand workers learn the difference between shrink sleeves and ready made plastic trays.
The Food Processing and Food Distribution Industry Makes Use of Many Specialized Machines
A vertical form fill seal machine is just one of many task specific items that helps run everything from a once a year concession stand to a 24 hour deli. The secure and sterile packaging of both food and liquid items is essential to the food service industry. Even the restaurants that pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients still use cooking materials that are vacuum sealed. It simply is not economical, for example, to purchase 100% coconut cooking oil in 18 ounce containers. For the sake of both quality and profit, many essential cooking ingredients are purchased in bulk, and these bulk items are packaged in pouches that have been kept sterile with the use of mechanism like a vertical form fill seal machine.
Did you know that packaging experts estimate that each pound of plastic packaging can reduce food waste by as much as 1.7 pounds? And while most home cooks understand the importance of properly sealing and storing food products in the home, food spoilage in a commercial kitchen setting can have a large impact on health and safety concerns for hundreds of customers.
Other types of machines and automation used in the food packaging industry screen for a variety of contaminates. Fir instance, a food metal detector can sense three main groups of metallic contaminants: ferrous, non-ferrous, and stainless steel. A typical metal detector application that uses either a conductive or wet product where 2.5 to 3.5 mm stainless steel can be detected uses an x-ray that can frequently detect 1.5 mm or less. This process also improves food safety and brand protection.
The safety of basic food ingredients can help ensure the safety of final products.
Could Tweaking Your Packaging Help You Increase Exposure of Your Quality Products?
Although food safety and health standards must be the priority for all food packaging decisions, the packages that you use to ensure the safety of your product can also promote your company. From printed shrink sleeves to food shrink bags, the constant exposure provided by the best marketing practices can make sure that day to day workers and occasional volunteers leave a work shift remembering the name of a food supplier or manufacturer.
It should come as no surprise that as many as 52% of people around the world make purchase decisions that are at least partially impacted by packaging that shows a brand making a positive social and environmental impact. In a time when a growing number of people are concerned not only about the products that they use, but also the best packaging practices of those products, companies that are making strong environmental decisions are moving to the top. The simple fact that President-elect Trump, a climate change denier, recently met with former Vice-President Al Gore, in fact, indicates just how much environmental and conservation image matters to the public.