In 2009, a woman in Florida was arrested after being observed injecting unknown substances into jars of baby food. In addition, there have been numerous recalls of various foods throughout the years as the result of potential terrorist attacks and evidence of tampering. These accounts and many more show the necessity of tamper evident labels for food. Most food companies in the United States are required by FDA regulations to provide tamper evident labels to ensure safety for consumers.
The food packaging industry has responded to this regulation and public concern by devising packaging that has effective tamper evident labels. The most common form of tamper evident labeling is that of the heat sealed plastic that comes around many food lids. This is visible to the consumer to evidence that the lid or cap has not been opened. In addition, tamper evident labels include seals under the bottle that label the item within the bottle and provide added security to ensure that the bottle has not been used.
One concern for companies implementing tamper evident labels is the cost. Because many of these devices must be hand-applied time and financial resources have created a need to increase the cost of store items. This means that the effect is on the consumer. Currently, cost/benefit analysis shows that this type of tamper evident label is not efficient and financially sound. Therefore, a rising need for equipment that can mass produce tamper evident labels is becoming a major concern for food industry leaders.
Although systems for tamper evident labels can be expensive, the long term benefit could compensate that expense by lowering the cost to consumers purchasing the item, encouraging more purchases. As well, these systems can save considerable dollars in employee wage being spent for the time it takes to hand package.
One of the biggest concerns in the use of tamper evident labeling equipment is that it is too expensive for the small business owner in the food industry. Many small business owners do enough business to need this equipment, but, simply cannot afford it. Although the idea of mass producing tamper evident labels is great, it is designed to accommodate major food manufacturers. In time, creating equipment that can cater to the small business owner that needs to provide tamper evident labels is going to be a necessity.