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Working with food brings about unique challenges, especially when it comes to public safety. Food preparation is only the beginning. When it comes to food packaging and labeling, the FDA has various rules specific to the use of label adhesives. How can you make sure you’re compliant with these rules? These three tips will help.
  1. Use packaging that employs a functional barrier to keep the label adhesive from being part of the food product.
The reason for all the rules is that packaging and labeling adhesives can leech into the food. A simple way to prevent that is to use a functional barrier between the product and the adhesive.

Of course, the barrier needs to withstand any and all temperatures the food is exposed to. For some products, that means everything from the freezer to the microwave or oven.
  1. Refer to the pre-approved adhesives list.
Title 21 of The Code of Federal Regulations outlines regulations of adhesives and component coatings. You’ll find a list of specific adhesives allowed in food packaging. It also identifies:
  • Quantities subject to recommended limitations
  • Use on dry foods
  • Use on fatty or “wet” foods
  • Directions on the need for functional barriers
  • You can view the list here.
  1. Submit a food contact notification.

There is a two-phase process that determines whether your label and/or packaging is considered a food contact substance or indirect food additive subject to becoming a component of the food product. To start this process, submit a food contact notification to the FDA.

Once the document is submitted, the FDA will check that all the required information is present. Upon proper filing, the second phase begins – a 120-day review of your food contact surface and its safety. If there are no issues, on the 120th day, the food contact notification automatically goes into effect.

It is also important to cover your bases by using a label supplier specific to the food industry. Adhesive Label Inc. works with the grocery niche, specifically meat, seafood, bakery, deli, and produce products. Our experts understand food safety as it relates to label adhesives. Work with us to keep your food compliant: 1-800-542-0016. Fill out our contact form here.