How Label Printers Keep Food Safety Standards High and Compliant

Aaron Hopkinson, product and solutions manager for labelling at Brother UK, explains how technology is helping caterers and hospitality businesses to keep food safety standards high, while allowing kitchens to comply with new legislation.

In October of 2021, the UK government changed the law surrounding how food allergens need to be labelled in certain instances for customers, meaning many caterers have had to adapt the way they do business.

Natasha’s Law requires that pre-packaged for direct sale (PPDS) food be clearly labelled with information on all potential allergens present and made to stand out so a customer can tell at a glance what they’re about to eat. Businesses that fail to comply risk a £5,000 fine, alongside the reputational damage that a serious allergen incident could create.

Brother has delivered tailored solutions for the food service and hospitality sectors for many years. Our label printers make it easy to create labels for compliant allergen content, ingredients, barcodes, branding, pricing and expiry dates quickly and accurately, using thermal print technology without the need for inks or toners.

Portable label printers like the ones offered in Brother’s TD line of printers offer hyper-fast connectivity through a wireless platform without any extra clutter around the machine – perfect for food prep environments.

More kitchens are adopting labelling technology like our TD range following the introduction of Natasha’s Law. But it’s true that they have a broader role to play in food safety.

In research we conducted in 2020, around 90% of businesses were still handwriting ‘day-dot’ labels as part of their stock rotation. This involves manually recording open dates and discard dates on colour-coded labels, with each colour denoting a day of the week to signal when it must be used by. It’s a process prone to human error, where an efficient labelling solution can reduce the likeliness of mistakes involved with monitoring food and keeping consumers safe.

We’ve partnered with Nutritics, providing third party software to enhance user interfaces, making use of Nutritics database of more than 750,000 ingredients to manage recipe and menu information – helping staff to easily manage stock rotation and day-dot labelling.

Learn more about how labelling technology can be used to boost food safety standards here: