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Packaging is Part of Food Safety, Too

Posted by Holly Mockus

Nov 17 2017
Nov 17 2017

It may not be edible, but packaging has a major impact on keeping food safe and displaying to customers the care with which your product is produced. Comprehensive food safety training is just as important for employees in the packaging industry as it is for those in food manufacturing facilities.

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Training for packaging manufacturing employees should include, at a minimum, modules covering:

  • Good manufacturing practices (GMPs)
  • Allergen awareness
  • Handwashing
  • Basic microbiology
  • Sanitation practices

A robust training program will provide context to the workforce and include information about how the packaging is used and why. The following practices are important to both food manufacturers and consumers:

Product contact materials
  • All materials used must be appropriate for physical contact with foods
  • Sanitary handling during manufacture, to include GMPs
  • Sanitary storage and transportation
  • Allergen understanding and management
  • Conditions of use
Noncontact materials (materials that don’t physically contact foods)
  • Sanitary handling during manufacture
  • Sanitary storage and transport
  • Allergens used in process of manufacture
Printing
  • Ink appropriate for use and conditions
  • Traceability
  • Ingredient statements
  • Allergen declarations
  • No mixing of cartons or cases
  • Splices on printed film
  • Importance of line clearing between products

Customer partnerships can provide excellent forums for learning and knowledge exchange.  Sending associates to visit each other’s operation to discuss opportunities and challenges will build business relationships. Packaging manufacturers need to be sure their workforce is thoroughly trained and understands the pivotal role packaging plays in safely moving food from farm to fork.

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