Food processing in general often entails using harsh liquids both for cleaning of the food and freezing purposes. The byproduct or results of using those fluids is often the creation of debris and unwanted elements in the food processing environment which then need to be disposed of. It is, in many cases, the residue of these elements that create what we can call a harsh, sometimes caustic environment.
To properly handle, dispose of, or avoid accidents with all of these elements, whether in fluid or gaseous state, good solid labeling and signage protocol is called for. Exactly how to create a safety labeling plan for your facility has already been discussed, in part at least, in this guide.
Minimal Labeling Requirements
Whether for HazCom, procedural information display, wayfinding, or safety related visual communication, both label and sign creation are dependent upon having the right supplies at hand. This includes labeling supplies that can meet and stand up to the challenge of the harsh environment we find in food processing plants.
And because much of the labeling required in a food processing facility is application-specific, the supplies and materials used often have to be extremely well matched to the needs.
The cold-storage portion of the plant, for example, absolutely requires that any labeling used in refrigeration units must be able to tolerate and perform well under very low temperatures and/or humidity fluctuations. That means labels must adhere to the packaging strongly as well as continue to stick as ice crystals form both on and around the label or packaging.
Also, if any moisture is present, the labels should not smear or buckle and warp from the moisture but should be able to repel the moisture and maintain their integrity which includes the message they carry.
To repeat, exposure to the harsh liquids and debris is a common occurrence for many food processing employees. It is therefore critical that visual communication of all hazards, efficiency techniques and procedures is implemented by proper labeling and signage.
What goes into creating a high- end label?
At the core of a professional labeling system is the thermal label printer, which prints the warning message, icons or images on to vinyl supplies of various colors and sizes. It does so by allowing the printer to heat and melt colored resins, which are transferred via a colored roll of material, on to the supply.
Rolls of pre-printed supplies that contain colored headers, allowing you to print with a single one-color black ribbon are also available, helping to eliminate the need and cost of purchasing colored resin print ribbons. You can find an assortment of suggested supplies at the end of this guide.
As well, ANSI-compliant die-cuts for arc ash labels, premium vinyl supplies for pipe markers, and metal-detectable supplies are also available for marking equipment and conveyors, which are in high usage in food processing facilities.
Here is a list of some specific applications and the corresponding supplies that we suggest you use for your food processing facility signs and labels:
- Clear See-Through Labels: Optically Clear Material
- Custom Designed Color Labels: Premium Label Supply
- High-Temp Service to 200F: Premium Label Supply
For that purpose, a full array of industrial- grade labeling supplies, providing the highest levels of performance, has been made available to food processing facilities and their workers for most work area applications.
These specialty labels are often sold with the notice that they can withstand acidic environments, solvents, oils and other substances that would otherwise lead to a breakdown of the label itself rendering it unable to properly display important warning and caution signals.
- High-Temp Service to 300F: High Temperature Supply
- Low Temp Service to -112F: Cold Storage Supply
- Quick Liner Removal: Simple Peel Supply
- Grommet Free, Tear Resistant: Lockout/Tagout Stock
- Temporary Signage on Metal: Magnetic Supply
- High Longevity Rounded Corners: Die-Cut Labels
- Repeated Reapplication: Repositionable Supply
- Glow-In-The-Dark Visibility: Phosphorescent Supply
- Low-Light Visibility: Reflective Supply
- Permanent Label Seal: Industrial Label Protection
Be sure to assess your facility and understand the needs of durable signs and labels! This will ensure your visual communication strategy is long-lasting and effective.