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August 11, 2021


Lifesaving labels: How to ease compliance with allergen labeling requirements

Nigel Street

Operating in one of the more heavily regulated industries, food and beverage manufacturers and distributors of all sizes have a lot to think about right now in terms of existing, new, and emerging regulatory requirements. While these regulations add complexity to food manufacturers’ labeling and packaging processes, they are critically important. After all, just one misstep in labeling can have disastrous consequences which is how “Natasha’s Law” came to be.

“Natasha’s Law” is just one of the many food labeling regulations in place across the U.S., European Union and the U.K. that are aimed at strengthening standards around allergens and food safety.  It was established in parliament in 2019 after Natasha, its namesake, died tragically due to a severe allergic reaction after consuming a baguette that was packaged without listing specific allergen information. With other high-profile allergy fatalities since Natasha’s death, the food industry has had to recognize the need to change allergen information labeling. “Natasha’s Law” will go into effect in October of this year.

Other important food and beverage regulations include EU Regulation 1169/2011, FDA Nutrition Facts and FSMA requirements, and Mexico’s NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 which aim to ensure that food labels offer consistency, traceability and most importantly, inform consumers about what is in the food they consume.

While adhering to these regulations is necessary, it can be daunting for many food and beverage manufacturers. The good news is that modern labeling technologies provide a streamlined path to compliance.

How can you simplify compliance?

The answer lies in the cloud. Companies using cloud-based labeling solutions on both the manufacturing and packaging sides of the business have the agility to make the quick pivots needed to be able to keep up with ever-evolving regulations.

How does the cloud help?

  1. Integration with sources of truth – Disparate data sources add complexity to labeling and ultimately open the door to labeling errors. A cloud-based solution enables dynamic, data -driven labeling that helps food and beverage companies react quickly to evolving regulatory requirements.
  2. Easy changes and approvals –Companies need to quickly respond to constantly changing regulations. Whether it be adding simple verbiage to a label or adapting labels to ensure lot traceability, cloud solutions allow you to easily make changes and facilitate approvals regardless of where you are.
  3. Effectively manage recalls – In the event that you need to recall a product, you must act fast. Cloud-based labeling and packaging processes support traceability and allow you to react quickly to identify associated product lines.
  4. Flexibility to scale – Many food and beverage companies distribute and sell products across state lines and sometimes, even to other countries where allergen and other labeling requirements can vary. A cloud-based solution that allows you to extend compliant labeling and artwork for food packaging to other sites and third parties will help ensure the requirements are met as your business grows.

These are just a few of the ways that cloud-based labeling and artwork management solutions can ease compliance with food and beverage regulatory requirements. Want to know more? Check out our white paper, The Impact of Global Food & Beverage Regulations on Labeling.

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