Packaging Best Practices For Pre-Packaged Food Manufacturers

Last Updated: 

October 3, 2023

Food safety is perhaps the most daunting concern for manufacturers. They must adhere to some guidelines and standards to stay compliant. Failing to meet them can lead to hefty penalties and reputational damage, the last things you want to encounter. 

You may even lose consumer trust and credibility in the long run, so proper packaging safety should be your top priority. Besides safety, you must ensure several factors, such as accuracy of weight and truthful labelling. 

Although it sounds like a lot of work, you can rely on a few packaging best practices for pre-packaged food manufacturers.

Key Takeaways on Packaging Best Practices for Food Manufacturers:

  • Food Safety Concerns: Manufacturers must adhere to guidelines and standards to ensure food safety. Non-compliance can result in penalties, reputational damage, and loss of consumer trust. Packaging safety, weight accuracy, and truthful labeling are paramount.
  • Eliminate Contaminants: Ensuring food is free from contaminants is vital for human consumption and regulatory compliance. Integrating product inspection technology, such as X-ray systems and metal detection, can detect and reject contaminated products in real-time.
  • Master the Sealing Process: After removing contaminants, a proper sealing process is essential. Using equipment like tray sealers and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) helps maintain product integrity over time.
  • Confirm Advertised Weights: The actual weight of the product must match the weight shown on the labels. In-line weight-checking technology can inspect product weights at high production speeds and reject products that don't meet the set parameters.
  • Verify Label Accuracy: Labels must display accurate information, including net quantity, ingredients, and allergen details. Machine vision inspection technology can check label content, positioning, and readability to ensure they match standard specifications.
  • Prepare for Due Diligence: Even with best practices in place, manufacturers might face regulatory agency visits or product recalls. Being ready to prove due diligence in manufacturing and packaging processes is crucial. Inspection systems can record quality assurance activities, and data management software can provide reliable QA data for regulators.

In summary, adhering to best practices in packaging is vital for pre-packaged food manufacturers. Ensuring food safety, accurate labeling, and weight, and being prepared for regulatory scrutiny can help maintain compliance and uphold the brand's reputation.

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Eliminate all contaminants

Eliminating contaminants from food is vital for its safety for human consumption. It is also the mainstay of food safety regulations, which is a crucial requirement for the industry. Integrating product inspection technology into the manufacturing process ensures the detection of contaminants. You can rely on technologies such as X-ray systems and metal detection to identify potential contaminants and reject contaminated products in real-time.

Master the sealing process

Once you eliminate contaminants from the products, you must set up a sealing process for them. Investing in proper equipment, such as tray sealers, streamlines the packaging process for a pre-packaged food manufacturing unit. Sealing the products with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) maintains their integrity over time. Look for relevant packaging equipment machines according to the product specifications and scale of operations.

Confirm advertised weights

Weight accuracy is another critical factor when it comes to food packaging. Although net content regulations vary, the average weights cannot be less than the amount on the labels. 

Some countries require them to be within pre-defined tolerances. You can set up in-line weight-checking technology to inspect product weights at top production speeds. The system can match the actual weight with the one shown on the labels and reject products outside set parameters.

Verify label accuracy

Product labels are as significant as the quality and integrity of the food inside the package. They communicate relevant information according to the labelling laws of the market where products will be sold. 

Typically, label regulations require them to display the net quantity, ingredient details, and allergen information. Besides these basics, some countries may have additional mandatory requirements. Manufacturers can rely on machine vision inspection technology to check the label content according to pre-programmed criteria. 

The technology can also confirm label positioning and readability to match the standard specifications.

Prepare to prove due diligence

Although you may follow the best packaging practices, you may still encounter a regulatory agency visit at some point. Even worse, they may enforce a product recall due to non-compliance. Readiness to prove due diligence in manufacturing and packaging processes can get you out of a problematic situation. 

You can use an inspection system to record quality assurance activities in real time. Likewise, advanced data management software can empower you with reliable QA data, which can be shared with regulators if required.

A robust food safety plan can keep your packaging compliant and prevent problems for your business. You can follow these tips to ensure top-quality food products that conform to the requisite standards.

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