The Best Thermal Label Options for Food Service and Dietary Labels
Date Posted:14 December 2020
Food, glorious food! Whether you’re serving up fresh meals or packaged products, labelling is a key consideration for many in food service to maintain safety, health and clarity. Here’s our quick rundown on the most common food labelling situations to help you get started.
Deli and bakery labels: consider direct thermal labels
When you’re printing labels onto freshly made food, and scanning it within minutes at the front counter, then direct thermal barcode labels will perfectly meet your needs. The direct thermal label’s lifespan can be up to around 6-9 months, and these labels are fast and cheap to print with an appropriate Zebra label printer or similar product. If your product will have Prolonged exposure to temperatures of 50°C or more it may cause premature imaging or discolouration of the label. We recommend thermal transfer labels for applications with higher temperatures instead.
Hospital and aged care labels: consider direct thermal labels
Hospital and aged care meals are often delivered by staff who aren’t familiar with the patient’s or resident’s dietary needs, so information and barcode labels are a common way to ensure the right meal with the right specifications will reach the right people. Direct thermal labels are a key label option for meals where the labels won’t be exposed to extreme heat, light or moisture such as steam. If they will, then you might look to thermal transfer labels that are more durable. Either way, be sure to choose quality top coated labels (as all of ours are), as this can significantly extend the life of your printhead.
Frozen and chilled items: consider thermal transfer labels
If your food labels are to be stored in extreme temperatures or in high-moisture environments, then you’ll most likely want to look to thermal transfer labels; where wax or ribbon is applied to the label stock for a crisp and long-lasting print. It’s also important to consider the application conditions in this case. If you’re applying your barcode labels to cold or wet products, for example, then you might want to choose permanent adhesive rather than removable adhesive to be sure the labels will stick.
Full-colour food labelling: consider custom label printing
If you’re wanting to print full-colour barcode labels for your retail food products, then custom printed barcode labels will be your ideal choice. Your labels will need to meet the requirements of Part 1.2 of the Food Standards Code set out by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), including a clear description, ingredients, nutritional information, best-before or use-by dates, warnings about ingredients that commonly cause reactions, and storage and preparation instructions. Custom labels can be waterproof and highly detailed for a professional finish.
If you are looking into custom barcode labels, direct thermal labels or thermal transfer labels in Australia, then consider Thermal Labels as your local label professionals. We manufacture right here in Sydney and can have labels sent with rapid turnarounds, as and when you need them.