Printed versus hand written traceability tags

How to improve your audit performance

Supplier traceability audits are a permanent feature for food manufacturers and processors, especially if you deal with major food retailers. Correct traceability labelling is crucial where various ingredients are mixed together to create ready meals and the like, especially where more than one allergen is added.

Incorrect allergen labelling is one of the most common reasons for audit failures and food recalls; calling for food manufacturers of all sizes to improve their traceability systems. In the event of mislabelling, a food manufacturer must be able to trace each ingredient forward to recall the finished product from sale.

In a recent article, we highlighted the five most common traceability issues that we come across and outlined how we have helped customers solve them. In this piece, we are looking at one particular solution – replacing your handwritten traceability tags with over-printed tags.

Why switch from handwritten traceability tags

Evidence strongly suggests that replacing handwritten traceability tags with over-printed thermal tags improves the accuracy of your traceability systems. In particular, it can:

  • Keep the auditors happy – printed trace tags mean clear, a consistent text which reduces errors and is a tick in the box for good traceability
  • Save you money – often we can reduce the size of your handwritten traceability tags which, alongside the fact that printed tags reduce errors, can help keep your production line running and save you money
  • Save you time – multiple traceability labels can be thermally printed much faster than handwriting, which means increased operational efficiency.

Everything you need to make the switch

We’ve put together a standalone printer package to make it easy for you to switch from handwritten tags to over-printed traceability tags. In most cases, there’s no need to get your IT department involved. Multiple printers can easily be networked to allow database updates to be managed centrally or each printer can operate on a totally standalone basis.

The package includes:

  • A robust, metal-cased standalone printer designed for life in an industrial environment, plus a plug-in keyboard for easy data entry
  • Software capable of printing multiple variable data points on your traceability labels or tags, such as use-by dates, production dates and times, allergens etc
  • Initial set up, including your database loaded into the thermal printer memory, training and ongoing expert advice and support
  • Printer cleaning kit to help you keep your standalone thermal tag printer in perfect working order.

Ongoing servicing and support

We offer end to end support to help keep your traceability system working simply and perfectly. We supply:

  1. Printheads
  2. Thermal ribbons
  3. On-site support and maintenance
  4. Customised BPA-free thermal tags and labels to meet your exact requirements; all manufactured at our BRCGS accredited facility.

When you choose to purchase the full package, including traceability labels or tags, through Piroto, we offer training and on-site support free of charge.

If you have an audit coming up, or simply want to improve your traceability system, we’d be happy to discuss your exact requirements.