Module 3.3 Packaging

Design of packaging

When designing packaging do consider visibility, clarity and legibility, contrast of text and accuracy (for example the needs of consumers with visual deficiencies such as colour blindness).

Dedicated packaging

Incorrect packaging and/or labelling is a significant cause of allergen related product recalls. Therefore, where possible, consideration should be given to the provision of dedicated packing lines to reduce the risk of mislabelling. By law, food businesses must notify the Agency (and the local authority where the business is based) if they need to withdraw products from the market, which don’t comply with food safety requirements.

Bar code scanners

If it is not possible to have dedicated packaging lines for allergenic products, then procedures for checking that the correct labels are applied to products should be implemented and audited regularly so that accurate information is provided to allergic consumers. Checks should be in place between processing and packing to ensure the correct packaging is used, for example by using bar code scanners to trace the product through the production process.

Remove packaging after each run

There should be systems to ensure packaging is removed at the end of a run, including any packaging that may be in the wrapping machine. This will help to avoid packaging mix-ups when the product to be packed is changed and, therefore, reduce the number of instances in which misleading information is passed to the consumer.

Multipack products

It is important to ensure that the correct outer packaging is used for multipack products and that allergen information appears on, or is visible through, both the inner and outer wrappers.