Sato offers solutions for new food allergen labelling regulations

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The final date when food companies and operators must comply with the new requirements of the European Directive 1169/2011 is 13th December 2014. This regulation introduces a number of label information changes, most of which are straightforward. However, a primary requirement is to clearly indicate, within the ingredients list, any substances which are classed as food allergens and this can mean a considerable amount of work to modify existing labelling methods.The Directive will standardise food and beverage labelling and provide greater clarity to consumers on ingredients, nutrition and allergens and places a responsibility on all companies who provide food information.  Before December 2014, food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and food service operators will have to update their packaging to indicate the presence of allergens by the use of a specific emphasis method that complies with the legislation.

Sato, the global manufacturer of barcode label printers and labelling systems provider, has developed simple solutions which enable food producers and operators to comply with the allergen labelling changes with the minimum of effort and change to current procedures. In most cases, users will be able to avoid the need to replace existing lists of label formats which may be extensive.

The Sato Food Allergens solutions produce labels which automatically and clearly emphasise the 14 substances listed with the EU regulations and also have the flexibility for related words to be highlighted as desired. Once implemented, the database of allergens and related descriptors is easily controlled and modifiable by the user.

The TH208 dedicated food label printer is ideal for on-demand labelling and is perfect for sandwich, bakery, deli, catering and other retail applications. The printer is a standalone unit incorporating a large user-keypad which is used to call up any label, including ingredients, stored within its extensive internal product list. The anti-microbial casing, small footprint and re-chargeable battery make the TH208 suitable for static location or mobile use anywhere within food preparation or retailing areas. Using Sato’s Application Enabled Printer technology, the unit can be customised to perform calculations and operations which are already used to enhance business efficiencies in thousands of food outlets across Europe.

For food production applications, Sato labelling and software systems are extensively used in businesses, both large and small scale. The Windows-based LabelGallery label design software ensures that listed allergen names and any associated descriptions are automatically accentuated on the product label, meeting the demands of the 1169/2011 directive. An update is available for those companies that currently employ Sato’s LabelGallery for their food operations.

Alternatively, the introduction of the new European legislation may be the opportunity to modernise or replace older labelling systems and introduce improved efficiencies and more professional results while achieving compliance.

Sato’s team of expert consultants are able to advise on how the new regulations affect your business and how to implement compliance with the least disturbance and cost. In addition, the company is one of the largest label manufacturers worldwide with studios which produce bespoke label designs to enhance company brand and image.

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