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In a span of a decade, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have reported a 125% increase in food recalls. In 2020, the FSIS recorded a total of 1,394,585 pounds of recalled products, pulled from markets due to pathogens, allergens, presence of extraneous materials, and import violations. Studies show that grievous tracking and traceability gaps have been responsible for:

  • 47% of recalls stemming from microbiological contamination
  • $3.7 billion spent in medical treatments for salmonella 
  • Nearly 8.5 million food units recalled yearly by the FDA
  • 601,969 pounds of recalled chicken in 2020 alone

While these numbers are ominous, one of the primary reasons behind the increase in recalls are traceability technology and new safety regulations. Real-time tracking and labeling systems now provide easier verification of compliance codes in food safety. That means manufacturers can target and catch more mistakes than before with the help of new intelligent tools and better safety parameters set by the FDA, FSIS, and CDC. However, while timely recalls can prevent pathogen outbreaks, they quickly erode consumer trust. An estimated 80% of consumers do not completely trust brands to ensure safety, and over a third report avoiding businesses associated with food-borne illnesses for many months. Therefore, visibility systems must prioritize early detection to keep compromised products from leaving facilities in the first place. 

The key to establish real-time alerts based on actionable data

Less communication gaps empowers teams with a clear overview of how products are handled, packaged, stored, and moved. Labeling systems paired with handheld scanners and mobile computers can help eliminate gaps by transcribing data from each step into a centralized shareable database. On the other hand, new rugged tablets like Zebra’s ET80/85 2-in-1 tablets emphasize the power of agile adaptability in securing food safety by:

  • Providing a lightweight consolidated computer and scanner – Despite having an integrated scanner and higher durability standards, the ET80/85 is 20% lighter and 35% thinner for easy portability. Its larger screen size permits workers to monitor products at-a-glance when operating forklifts or other heavy machinery.
  • Facilitating data entry with a detachable keyboard – Keep workflows standardized with a device that adapts to preferred data entry mechanisms for administrators and production teams alike. Detachable keyboards and universal mounting options allow the ET80/85 to fit into different work environments, simplifying training and accelerating deployment. 
  • Reducing connection drops through flexible connectivity options – Leveraging several connectivity options such as WiFi 6E, 4G/5G, and Bluetooth, the ET80/85 prevents downtime and breakdowns from signal drops within the four walls, keeping your vital data constantly available to your workforce. This also means workers can update WIPs, notifications, and compliance codes in real-time for entire teams to track. 
  • Deploying seamless push-to-talk and secured texting – Lastly, Zebra’s Workforce Connect empowers manufacturers with real-time communication between individual workers and entire groups, all streamlined through one platform. Moreover, connectivity can extend beyond the four walls, allowing transportation teams and retailers to verify shipments are ready for sale. 

To efficiently start securing real-time workflow visibility, begin with a comprehensive operational assessment to target recurring points of communication breakdowns. Contact Avalon to start your assessment today and learn more about the next generation of technologies devoted to dependable food safety.

Labels matter. Such a small statement is constantly put to the test in supermarkets across the nation since labels serve as the deciding factor in allowing foods to fall into customers’ hands. Equipped with an extensive list of requirements and regulations, government organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studies product labels to make sure foods contain what labels say. As a result, inaccurate labels can cost more than ink and time.

The 2012-2018 litigation between POM Wonderful and Coca-Cola serves as a prime example of the damage a little label can cause. Minute Maid’s 99% apple-based Pomegranate Blueberry Juice could have cost over $10 billion in settlements for POM’s lost profits. Furthermore, inaccurate packaging can also impact storage and transportation, leading to spoiled goods and lost inventory, which can also result in recalls and illnesses. To avoid the pitfalls of navigating through compliance labeling, Avalon Integration helps minimize labeling costs and errors with versatile Zebra Certified Consumables, designed to expand asset visibility while meeting application requirements.

Protect Assets with Compliance Labels

Protect Assets with QLN420 Compliance Labels

Protect Assets with QLN420 Compliance Labels

Food processing labels have been subject to scrutiny for decades. As new trends emerge, warehouses and distribution centers must keep up with new compliance practices while updating labels to reflect changes. Adaptable and durable, Zebra Certified Consumables help secure proper handling with three top benefits:

  • Expanded label longevity: Tested for both high humidity and extreme cold storage Zebra labels retain legibility in harsh environments without smudges, allowing your workforce to better handle and store your inventory.  
  • Label customization:  Using over 300 pretested materials, Zebra labels can be designed to fit your application requirements. Change color, shape, text, and graphics to design custom labels that best represent your inventory and safety codes. 
  • Faster replenishment – Sourced from four labeling converter facilities, Zebra labels can be shipped quickly to any location within continental North America, so if a reprint is needed, new labels are readily available. 

Identification labels will only become more predominant with the appearance of new foods and best-practice policies. Implement efficiency and adaptability into your workflow when you start your labeling solution with Avalon Integration and maximize visibility and customer trust with a labeling system that values your customers as much as you do.