How To Ensure Safe Food Delivery with Labels & Seals
As a consumer, it can be impossible to tell if someone took a sip from your plastic soda cup, coughed on your sandwich, or stole one of your hot french fries. If you run a restaurant, catering business, or commercial kitchen, leave little to chance when it comes to protecting your customers and your business' reputation.
With health concerns at an all-time high, here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your food makes it safely to its final destination.
1. Decide How To Seal Your Food
With dozens of different take-out and to-go containers, it can be difficult to evaluate what options will work best for your operation. Below, view our label recommendations for tamper-proofing your to-go packaging.
Hinged Foam Containers
These containers are easy-to-open and often hold finger foods. Unlike rubber bands which are popularly used to keep these containers from springing open, our no-stretch labels will better seal off the container. Try longer, full-wrap belly band seals or smaller front/side closure labels.
Prepared Food Plastic Containers
Some foods are prepared and packaged in advance. For items like this, you may already have a labeling system for placing it on shelves and in refrigerated cases. Scale labels are a popular way to seal weight-based food products, but another option is similar to a jar seal. Place a standard product label over the opening to lock it closed. Any tampering will cause the label to rip.
While a pizza box has hang-down flaps that prevent sneaky hands from wandering in, they're not dissimilar to hinged foam containers. You can add a label near the front tab as a preventative measure or use small seals on each side to guarantee your product hasn't been tampered with.
These containers are great at keeping foods hot and even preventing contamination. The 360° aluminum seal is a great deterrent, but it doesn't hurt to add another safety measure for peace of mind. Attach a label down the side of the lid onto the base. There won't be any stretch in the material which means the lid won't be able to open from its sealed position.
Folded Kraft Take-Out Boxes
With only one opening/access point, these containers are some of the easiest to seal. Place a sticker (nearly any shape will do) over the locked tabs and hand off to the delivery team. The only way to open it and consume the food will be to remove or rip the sticker.
Drink Cup & Bottle Seals
Keep the lid securely closed on your plastic soda cups and glass juice bottles with over-the-top safety seals. These seals are applied to the body of the beverage and wrapped over the lid until they connect with the other side. Labels like this that wrap around the top of your product show customers that their drink has not been opened for consumption or tampering.
To-Go Bag Seals
If you generally serve large families/groups or offer multiple sides with every order, it may be easier to seal an entire order rather than every item individually. These bag seals can be placed over plastic or brown paper bags to help you protect your consumers.
Shop all food delivery seals
2. Choose Your Seal Material
Our label materials will adhere to virtually any type of packaging, including everything listed above. However, our facesheets and adhesives do function differently and you may want to evaluate your end-goal and application situations prior to purchasing.
Paper-based labels will tear if there's a removal attempt and are easy for consumers to get through when they're ready to consumer their delivery. But due to the nature of paper, they won't hold up to condensation, steam, or liquids.
Film-based labels, on the other hand, won't tear if there's a removal attempt which can make opening the food item more difficult. Though, they're more durable and are frequently waterproof.
Our waterproof labels are designed to last in wet environments. The extra-strength adhesives will prolong adhesion to your destination surface and the film facesheets will maintain the integrity of your print.
Want something even more secure? Consider using shrink sleeve labels as tamper-evident bands. Like film-based labels, they're durable and can be difficult to remove without perforations, but provide the best security for bottled and jarred products.
Another option is the specialty tamper-evident VOID label material. The metallic silver material looks like a traditional label from the top but leaves "VOID" letters on the surface when removed. Also known as self-destructive labels, they're popular for leaving a trace so any tampering attempts are extremely clear.
All of the materials mentioned here come in hundreds of shapes and sizes so you can find the best fit for your application. Browse the full label material list.
3. Design Your Tamper-Evident Safety Seal
Adding a printed design to your food delivery safety seals will add professionalism to your delivery process and business. Use the space to reinforce your logo and branding, promote your safety features, or advertise new menu items or services to name a few.
Additional safety seal content ideas include listing the name of the inspector or packager, safe-handling instructions, company contact information, and/or the product details (same, prepared for, ingredients).
Remember that your tamper-evident seals are designed to be removed/destroyed. Thus, they shouldn't include any critically important information.
To help you through the process, our designers have created the following free label templates. Customize in Maestro Label Designer with your company's details then send to your home or office printer.
Low on time and resources? Our labels are compatible with writing utensils such as permanent markers, sharpies, pens, and pencils.
Without restrictions in place for delivery drivers to carry health cards, undergo cleanliness inspections, or observe heath hygiene standards, it's up to you to protect your patrons and business. We hope these tips will help you create custom tamper-evident take-out packaging that does just that.
Don't forget to use social distancing reminders inside your restaurant. Check out our selection of printable social distancing floor label templates.