In recent years food delivery has been becoming more and more popular with consumers. Not only do many restaurants offer delivery but there are third-party options to get your food delivered as well offering a more convenient and easy way to get food delivered. Some of the third-party options include using apps such as Grub Hub, Door Dash, and Uber Eats.
With options for food delivery increasing so has consumer’s concern for their food security when using these new methods.
A recent trend that the food industry has begun to use to ensure food security is adding tamper-evident labels or seals to food during the delivery process. Although tamper-evident labels or seals have been used for years on products in other industries such as automotive and electronics it is new to the food industry. These labels are added to the containers or packaging of food at the restaurant before it leaves their facility. Tamper-evident labels or seals offer consumers reassurance that their order has remained untouched in transit from a restaurant to their door.
The most popular type of tamper-evident labels or seals being used are ones that have slits for security: when the label is removed, it separates into pieces, indicating that it has been tampered with. These labels can be put on a variety of different substrates such as paper bags, plastic bags, cardboard containers, plastic containers, and more.
- Gives consumers the reassurance that their food was untouched during delivery
- Visual proof if consumers food was tampered with
- Easy to apply quickly
- It can be used on a verity of different substrates allowing 1 label to be used on different packaging/containers.
Many tamper-evident labels used in the food industry have a simple and clean design to them with not many graphics or type on them. These labels can include a logo indicating where the food is from or simply just have the words “Eat Well” or “Enjoy” on them. Some may say “tamper-evident” on them indicated the reason for the label.
These labels can be any shape and size. However, we have seen most of them being small and either rectangular or circular and not being bigger than 2 to 3 inches.
Tamper-evident labels have been popular in other markets such as automotive and electronics for years and just recently have been used in the food industry. However, there are more industries that tamper-evident labels can have used in as well.
Hotel security labels are intended to be placed on the outside of a hotel room door covering the crease between the door and the door frame. These labels are placed here to after a room has been cleaned indicating to guests that the room was not tampered with or touched after it was cleaned and sanitized.
Other markets where tamper-evident labels can be used with the same concept as what we see happening on food products and hotel rooms are:
- Airplane security seals
- Rental car security seals
- Health, beauty, and pharmaceutical packaging
DIFFERENT SECURITY LABELING TYPES
There are three different types of security labeling techniques: tamper-evident labels, authentication labels, and track and trace labels. The best solutions for a product depending on what ways a product needs protection.
Tamper evident labels are printed on destructible substrates that can change the appearance or are destroyed when tampering such as removing or transferring the label occurs. If a product was tampered with and the label was removed or transferred, a tamper-evident label will show proof that the product tampered. One way the label will do this is by ripping into pieces and leaving evidence behind on the product showing that it was tampered with. Sometimes this can be strips of the label itself or it can be the word “void” repeated over the area that the label was adhered to.
Authentication labels incorporate combinations of security features that can be visually seen or identified and easy to verify. These security features can be checked by anyone within the supply chain. Visual authentication includes barcodes, special inks, holograms, watermarks, embossing, and more. Authentication labels can also contain hidden security features such as invisible images or text, hidden barcodes, digital authentication, markers, retro-reflective technology, optical variable devices, and more. Hidden features can be verified by special lighting, magnification, technology, and software. Authentication labels are nearly impossible to copy or imitate.
Track and trace features can be visual or hidden and can be added to products, pallets, or shipping containers. This unique marker can be monitored through the whole process of the supply chain. This feature requires special management data technology and software. Track and Trace solutions allow products to be traced from production all the way down the supply chain till the product reaches the consumer’s hands which allows the consumer to verify where the product came from and where it traveled from the time it left the manufacturing facility. With this information, the consumer will be able to identify if the product was tampered with, and if the product is authentic.