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To avoid food and beverage recalls, a thorough traceability system with label verification is essential

In the food and beverage industry, packaging is responsible for many things: grabbing the consumer’s attention, differentiating the brand, and describing EXACTLY what the product contains. The former two are important for successful marketing, while the latter is crucial for public safety. In fact, errors on labels and packaging are the most common cause of food and beverage recalls.

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Poor marketing can lead to poor sales, but error-prone product descriptions can have much more serious consequences in the form of severe illness or even death. Since both public health and consumer satisfaction depend so heavily on product integrity, food and beverage packaging must be extremely specific about what’s inside – with zero tolerance for information mismatches.

A robust traceability system is a key strategy for ensuring product integrity. Traceability is the practice of maintaining thorough records on the origins and whereabouts of products and raw materials by scanning printed barcodes, direct part marks (DPMs) or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags throughout the production process and the supply chain.

One of the best ways to combat labeling mistakes is to implement an industry-standard label verification system in conjunction with traceability. Print quality inspection systems like Omron’s LVS-7510 are capable of performing a wide variety of verification-related tasks, including optical character recognition (OCR), optical character verification (OCV), master-to-label comparison and data and code matching.

Since recalls can have a catastrophic impact on a company’s reputation as well as its profits, minimizing errors on labels and packaging is essential. According to IBM Consulting, 57% of customers will avoid purchasing brands that have been associated with a recall. This cost comes on top of the expenses that are directly associated with taking all the impacted product off the market.

Interested in learning more about how traceability technologies can help you minimize recalls? Download our white paper on traceability in the food and beverage packaging industry to read up on several more strategies and solutions!