Today, food safety is about much more than cross-contamination and sanitisation. As we have seen in recent cases, exposure to an allergen eating out can mean the difference between life and death.
Andy Piggin, managing director of Pro Foodservice Reps (PFR), which is revolutionising back of house procedures with its reusable labels for the catering industry, says that times have changed radically.
“Wind the clock back 30 years and you wouldn’t have expected foodservice operators to provide information on allergens. And why would they? For whatever reason, and there are many arguments surrounding this, the propensity of people with allergies has shot up drastically in the last 20 years.
“Today, around one in 100 people suffer with coeliac disease, with one in 14 children under the age of three having one or more food allergies. This is staggering and the upshot is that it’s now not just packaged food and drink products that have to detail ingredients that fall into the allergen category.
“From restaurants and cafes to fast food outlets, caterers across the board must provide information on the 14 main allergens to the consumer for non-prepacked food or drink. Operators might underestimate the importance of this, but they can be fined steeply for failing to be transparent.
“As testament to this, according to the Navitas Group, more than eight in 10 people who look for allergy information expect restaurant kitchens to have up-to-date technology to minimise the risk posed by allergens, but also processes in place across their back of house operation.”
To support caterers as they strive to comply with the allergen information rules and help consumers make safer food choices, Pro Foodservice Reps (PFR) has just launched an allergen label into its innovative range of reusable PuraCycle ReMarkable labels.
Mr Piggin said: “For the ultimate in food safety, each label allows caterers to add the food name, prep date, use by date, frozen date and defrost date, but they can also tick off which of the main 14 allergens are in the contents of the container.
“The beauty of these labels is that you can erase the text and ticks when you are done and they can go through the dishwasher, eliminating the need for the hundreds, if not thousands, of single-use labels caterers can get through in a year.”
Host of benefits
Available from Nisbets in packs of 20 from September, the allergen labels not only help foodservice operators keep on top of their obligations, but help them save money, eliminate waste, meet health standards and go green, not to mention not having to scrape containers of paper and glue residue.
“These new labels, available for food containers and bottles, are made from highly recyclable materials, with a unique reusable whiteboard surface,” adds Mr Piggin. “Even better, their durability, even through industrial dishwashers, helps prevent the accumulation of paper and tape waste entering the waste system.”
Making a mark
The allergen labels come with ‘foodservice’ PuraCycle markers, which are non-toxic, odourless and cost effective. The pens contain resistant ‘wash-erase’ ink that stays legible on PuraCycle labels even when exposed to either boiling or freezing water, steam or condensation. Also within the Puracycle range are 100% bamboo biodegradable cloths.
Once used, ink can be simply erased with friction before washing the container and reusing. Therefore, there is no need to invest in a dedicated label printer.
Mr Piggin adds: “Peeling, picking, scratching or scrubbing ordinary labels can leave a nasty residue that builds up over time. In contrast, our PuraCycle labels are an award winning, sustainable, cost-effective solution for every aspect of foodservice.
“They are at least 10 times less expensive than dissolvable labels per use, having been engineered to sustain 500 dishwasher cycles. We believe outlets can start seeing savings in as little as 15 uses.”
PuraCycle encourages customers to customise their labels with company logos, corporate colours, specific text and sizing to suit their requirements. Puracycle are members of the sustainable restaurant association.
For further information, visit www.Puracycle.co.uk
Free samples can be requested by emailing sales@ProRepsUK.com. You can buy PuraCycle labels at Nisbets.co.uk