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Food Date Labels: Use By Labels & Best Before Labels Explained

CT4 2612 Use By Labels

Understanding Food Date Labels: A Guide for Consumers

When it comes to food date labels on food products, there are two main types that consumers should be familiar with: “Use By” and “Best Before” dates. By understanding the differnces between these labels, consumers can make informed decisions about the food they consume. Additionally, it’s important to be aware that “Display Until” and “Sell By” date labels hold little relevance for consumers and can often be confusing. Let’s delve into the details of each type of date label to shed light on their significance.

Use By Date Labels: Ensuring Safety

CT1 22x12mm USE BY price gun labels - White labels with red textUse By labels (Buy here) are for foods that have a short shelf life, such as perishable items like meat products and pre-packaged salads. You’ll find these products stored in chilled cabinets at supermarkets and shops. It’s crucial to note that once the “use by” date has passed, even if the food appears and smells fine, it should not be consumed. Use By Lables purpose is for safety reasons, and consuming food beyond the use by date can pose health risks.

For the “use by” date to serve as a reliable guide, it’s essential to follow the storage instructions indicated on the packaging.” Incorrect storage can speed up the deterioration of food, increasing the risk of food poisoning. Freezing the food can extend the use by date. In such cases, the food should be consumed within 24 hours after thawing. Paying close attention to the instructions on the packaging is crucial to prevent food poisoning or rapid spoilage.

Best Before Date Labels: Quality Indicator

CT4 26x12mm Best Before Labels for Pricing Guns - White Paper - Red TextBest Before Labels (Buy here) show the expected quality of the food. Unlike use by labels, food is not deemed dangerous after the best before date has passed. This date serves as a guideline for when the food may start to lose its texture, or quality.

In most cases, consuming food a few days after the best before date should not pose any health problems. You will find best before labels on a variety of products, including frozen, dried, tinned, and other foods.

Watch out for eggs! It’s important to note that you should not consume eggs after their best before date. Eggs can harbor salmonella bacteria, which can multiply after this date.

The accuracy of best before dates is dependent on following the storage instructions provided on the label. Whether it’s “store in a cool, dry place” or “keep in the fridge once opened,” adhering to these instructions ensures that the food maintains its quality for the indicated duration.

Display Until/Sell By: Internal Management Labels

“Display Until” and “Sell By” dates serve as internal management and stock control measures. Unfortunately, these labels often lead to confusion among consumers, as some mistake them for best before or use by dates. The purpose of these labels is to assist staff in rotating stock and removing items from the shelves as they approach the end of their shelf life. By using these labels, businesses focus onitize the sale of older stock first.

By understanding the different types of date labels and their significance, consumers can make informed choices about the safety and quality of the food they consume. Adhering to use by dates for perishable items is crucial for ensuring food safety, while best before dates provide guidance on maintaining food quality. Remember to always follow the storage instructions on the packaging to maximize the freshness and safety of your food.

Why by Use By Labels and Best Before Labels from Danro

  • Quality: We provide you with quality products or services that meet your needs.
  • Price: We offer you competitive prices.
  • Delivery: We deliver your products or services on time and in the condition you expect.
  • Service: We provide you with excellent customer service. We respond to your inquiries and concerns, and go the extra mile to help you.
  • Relationship: We build a strong relationship with you. We do our best to understand your needs and work with you to find solutions that meet your requirements.

Call on 01332 865933 or fill in our Contact Form and we will get back to you ASAP!

If you are looking for a bespoke food labels, please call Natalie on 01332 865933 or use our contact form.

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What does egg box labelling mean?

example egg box label

Egg box labelling follows a strict set of rules and regulations to convey and confirm consumer safety. This blog post aims to answer most of the areas you would need to know about so that you can ensure your eggs are labelled lawfully. Danro offers a range of labelling solutions to meet all of your egg box label needs.

Egg box labelling categories

There are several key categories that must be included in the labelling associated with eggs:

  • Producer and producer ID
  • Egg stamping explanation
  • Packing Station No.
  • Weight
  • Best Before Date
  • Class
  • Consumer Advice

There is a range of other associations or quality control bodies that provide further assurances for consumers that can be applied to egg box labelling. These are generally welfare and safety assurances to help consumers make a more informed choice about which eggs to purchase.

Egg Box Labelling: Producer and Producer ID

Eggs require a code that allows for proper scrutiny of production by the authorities to ensure public health. This information should include the location (address) for where the eggs are produced. This is imperative for all food consumption for public health enforcement. If there is a problem with infection of some sort, the authorities need to be able to trace production to source so they can address any issues with infection, contamination or production methods and prevent any further outbreak.

The egg box labelling code must include a producer ID number. In the UK, the producer ID number is supplied and kept on register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency. The rules are:

The Registration of Establishments (Laying Hens) Regulations 2003 require all laying hen establishments with 350 or more laying hens to be registered with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). This includes caged, barn, free range or organic egg-producing hens.

You must also register with APHA as a producer if:

  • you have 50 or more hens and any of your eggs are marketed at a local public market
  • any of your eggs are marketed to registered packing centres
  • If you sell eggs to shops or catering outlets, you must be approved and authorised as a packing centre by APHA so you can grade them as Class A eggs.

Registration is free. Your establishment will be allocated a number which is made up of:

  • a digit (0, 1 , 2 or 3) indicating the farming method
  • the country of origin ISO code
  • a unique identification number for the establishment
  • This number must be stamped on all eggs graded as Class A.


Egg Box Labelling: Egg Stamping Explanation

Egg box labelling includes “egg stamping”. This is a set code to describe everything needed for consumer protection. As explained above, it is made up of a production method code, a country of origin code (ISO country code) and a Producer ID, supplied by the Animal & Plant Health Agency.

So a code is [production method][Country of origin][Producer ID]

The production method falls into one of 4 categories:

  • 0 Organic
  • 1 Free-Range
  • 2 Barn
  • 3 Cage

The country origin is as per ISO country code – this is applied for all EU egg production, e.g UK for Unitied Kingdom, IE for Irelaned, DE for Germany, FR for France etc. etc.

As mentioned above, the Producer ID is supplied upon registration application by the producer to the Animal & Plant Health Agency. This number will be unique to the production unit.

There must be a statement on your egg box labelling to explain this to consumers. This is included in our Egg Box Labels available from our shop.

The statement will normally read:
Egg Stamping Explanation: 0 = Organic, 1 = Free Range, 2 = Barn, 3 = Caged, UK = Origin, 9999 = Producer ID.

Egg Box Labelling: Packing Station No.

Where eggs are packed for sale to the public (subject to the criteria found on the APHA website), they will need to have a packing station number. This will be supplied by APHA and must be displayed prominently on the packaging.

If you are packing eggs supplied from another egg producer, you will need to stamp the eggs with their details and label your product with the packing station number. This is for infection control purposes for public health.

Egg Box Labelling: Weight

Eggs can be sold in mixed weight and this must be made clear on the packaging. Where eggs are graded by size, the weight is classified as follows:
Very Large: 73g +over
Large: 63 – 73g
Medium: 53 – 63g
Small: 53g + under

Egg Box Labelling: Best Before Date

Eggs should be labelled with a best before date. The date applied depends on how the eggs are stored. Eggs refrigerated once sold to the consumer are best used within 3 weeks. Unrefrigerated eggs will lose their quality sooner.

Once refrigerated, eggs should be kept refrigerated until used. It is not advisable to refrigerate eggs then unrefrigerated them as their shelf life and quality will reduce dramatically. The consumer advice (see below) recommends eggs are refrigerated after purchase.

Egg Box Labelling: Class

We specialise in producing labels for eggs destined for human consumption. Eggs fall into 3 classes:

  • Class A: They are naturally clean, fresh eggs, internally perfect with shells intact and the air sac not exceeding 6mm in depth. The yolk must not move away from the centre of the egg on rotation. Grade A eggs are sold as shell eggs.
  • Class B: These are shelled eggs. They are pasteurised and this type of egg is normally used in commercial food production.
  • Industrial: These are used for non-food application such as pharmaceutical or cosmetics such as soaps and shampoos.

Egg Box Labelling: Consumer Advice

Egg box labelling should include consumer advice on how to store eggs, as well as the explanation of the egg type. By that, we mean whether they are organic, free range, barn or caged. Organic eggs must also be free range and are the highest standard of eggs in terms of animal welfare.

The statement should read:
Consumer Advice: Keep refrigerated after purchase.

Egg Box Labelling: Consumer Assurance and Welfare Declarations

egg box labelling - british lion egg logoThere are a number of welfare and consumer associations that may be suitable to enhance the image and quality of your product. Egg production has had a bad rap for treating birds poorly in the past. There are a number of bodies that will give assurance regarding the quality of husbandry your birds may be received.

The Lion Logo is applicable to some 90% of UK egg production. This scheme is designed to ensure a code of practice amongst egg producers to limit the risk of salmonella in flocks and reduce the risk of salmonella contamination in eggs. More information can be found here.

Other major assurance programs include the Soil Association, RSPCA and Freedom Foods.

Do you need egg box labels? You can order what you need directly here or call Natalie now on 01332 865933 to start your order – or complete our online form and we will call you back.

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Change to Bird Flu Advisory Labels

bird flu advisory labels

Advice received yesterday (23rd March 2017) suggests the bird flu advisory labels found on hitherto free range eggs must be changed.

We received a call yesterday from Paul Radnor of the Animal & Plant Health Authority (APHA). We have built a good relationship with Paul over the labelling changes required from the current situation with respect to avian flu. He advised us that due to the time that the housing order has been in place, labelling would now have to indicate free range eggs as “Barn Eggs”.

As we have blogged previously, APHA and DEFRA have issues a housing order to improve bio-security in the national flock. This measure was taken to try and prevent the spread of avian flu in commercial flocks from wild birds by housing birds to keep them away from mixing with wild birds. This brought about the first stage of bird flu advisory labels stating: “Eggs laid by hens temporarily housed in barns for their welfare”.

The welfare of the national flock is paramount and housing the birds is the right thing to do. However, under EU regulations, birds that are not given free access to the outside (and under specific minimum standards) cannot be labelled “Free Range”. Despite the special circumstances, the EU has been unable to grant any special dispensation despite the circumstances.

It is debatable as to whether the UK government is being over-zealous in enforcing the EU rules (which other EU governments may not enforce as keenly).

The housing order means that birds have now been housed for an excess of 12 weeks which is the cut-off point to declare free range under the EU regulations.

Despite farmers wanting to rear their foul free range, the housing order is preventing them doing so. Many have had to incurr additional costs to caring for their flocks as a result of this order.

Bird Flu Advisory Labels

The new mandated bird flu advisory labels include the same wording as the original eggs but have a clear indicator specifying the eggs are now class 2 Barn eggs.

We have prepared new bird flu advisory labels and placed them into stock ready to order. As such we do not have a change over date after which the original bird flu advisory labels may not be used so suggest that egg producers use up their supplies for the time being.

If you require any advice, we recommend calling APHA or DEFRA or your local trading standards. To order, click here or call us on 01332 865933 or fill in the form below and we can contact you by return:

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    Barn Eggs Labels for Free Range Flocks affected by Bird Flu

    Bird Flu Barn Eggs Advisory Labels

    Danro has now prepared temporary Barn Eggs Labels for Free Range Flock egg producers affected by the bird flu precautions implemented by DEFRA.

    Under EU regulations, to label eggs as free range, they must be kept under specific minimum conditions including access to the outdoors with vegetation on a daily basis. Birds housed under the special measures introduced by DEFRA in December mean that after 12 weeks it is no longer lawful to label eggs as free range but must now have barn eggs labels indicated.

    Whilst we have our own opinion on the intransigence of the EU Commission with respect to re-labelling free range flock’s eggs as ‘barn eggs’ rather than continuing with the explanation labels introduced at the beginning of February, producers must comply.

    If you are unable to secure your flock from wild birds; i.e. netting their runs and disinfecting footwear etc. then you must continue to house your flock for the foreseeable future and accept that their eggs must be classed as barn eggs and can no longer be referred to as free range.

    If you have been husbanding your flock as a free range flock, you cannot label the eggs as free range due to the housing restrictions conflicting with EU Regulations regarding egg labelling. Any eggs produced may continue to use the free range packaging and labelling you may have but must have an additional label added; in this case “Barn Eggs laid by hens temporarily housed in barns for their welfare”

    You can buy these labels directly from us ex. stock by clicking here. You may also buy a TOWA Applicator which will help with bulk application of labels.

    Please note: All information provided by Danro is provided as is and without warranty. Danro accept no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. Please see DEFRA’s website for exact guidance on the bird flu outbreak and your responsibilities.

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    Free Range Egg Labelling for Bird Flu

    Free Range Egg Labelling for Bird Flu - advisory labelling change

    You may need to amend your free range egg labelling for bird flu as DEFRA’s housing order is lengthened. In December the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ordered that all free range hens – providing eggs or meat – be housed to protect against the threat of the H5N8 influenza virus. As a result, it may be necessary for your products to be re-labelled in accordance with EU regulations.

    The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) are understood to be negotiating a solution for egg producers to affix a secondary label to their packaging. This label is to reflect that their free range eggs will have their free range status downgraded to barn produced in light of the birds being housed inside for more than 12 weeks. The regulations are determined by EU regulations on free range declarations.

    Danro has taken steps to prepare for the change and can supply you with labels from stock so you can change your free range egg labelling for bird flu. We will be printing labels this month (6th February 2017) with the approved wording for the change. As we understand, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are confirming the approved wording for the labels and we will manufacture adequate stock to supply our customers.

    The labels will be printed as 1-inch roundels in blue with white text. It is expected the text will be “Eggs laid by hens temporarily housed in barns for their welfare” and are priced at £3.90 per thousand. A minimum order of 10,000 labels is required and can be supplied with a TOWA applicator at £79.00. All prices are exclusive of VAT and Carriage.

    You can buy labels here or the bundled pack of bird flu labels and applicator here.

    If you require further information, call us on 01332 865933 or fill in the form below.

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      Self Adhesive Labels on Rolls: A Buyer’s Guide

      labels on rolls - die cut labels on rolls

      Many people are confused with buying  self adhesive labels on rolls so we at Danro Labels thought it would be useful for our customers to have a guide to help them buy their self adhesive labels on rolls. This is to make sure you know the variable specifications we might need to know when you are buying.

      Along with the shape and size of the label, the main items we will need to know in detail are the material we use to make the labels, the adhesive, the orientation and the winding.

      Materials for Labels on Rolls

      The first decision is whether to make the labels using paper-based materials or plastic based material. Paper-based materials use wood pulp as the base composition. Plastic based materials are polymers and are suited to meet certain environmental conditions such as weather or water-proofing.

      Paper-based materials can be matt or can have a level of sheen added to them. The sheen is achieved by the addition of china clay and is referred to as semi-gloss or gloss.

      Paper and plastic materials can have direct thermal pigments added. Generally, if you require a direct thermal material, you will use either Direct Thermal Eco or Semi-Top coat thermal. It is possible to get plastic based direct thermal but generally, the costs are high and the same results can be achieved more reliably and cheaper using a plain plastic material and resin thermal transfer ribbon.

      Plastics used for labelling are predominantly polypropylene (PP) which can be supplied white or clear. Other plastic materials such as PE are also available but cost considerably more than PP. Plastics are very durable and waterproof. They are suitable for outdoors environments and in some cases where the label may be subjected to high mechanical forces e.g. a PAT testing label or tyre label stuck to a tyre being moved around a factory or warehouse.

      Thermal printed labels on rolls

      If you plan to print on demand with your labels, the labels may be supplied with blank areas that allow you to print specific information on demand. Sandwich labels are an example where a company may have a standard template that it can then print identification onto. This is a large market and Danro is experienced in supplying hundreds of sandwich labelling systems across the UK.

      Your choice with respect to thermal printed labels on rolls is normally some form of direct thermal material. If you speak to us first we will give you impartial advice about what solution will work best for you. If the labels have a short shelf-life (say 3-6 months or less), then direct thermal is a suitable method of over printing. For longer duration, we recommend wax or resin ribbons using the thermal transfer method of printing.

      Thermal transfer labels last for years as the wax or resin adheres to the label face. Direct thermal material fades over time and can become illegible after 12 months.

      Adhesives for Labels on Rolls

      There are four main adhesives we offer but specialist adhesives are available – just call us to discuss on 01332 865933.

      Removable or Peelable adhesive is suitable for items that do not want to have a permanent label on them. Gifts and gift cards spring to mind as an example.

      Permanent adhesive is suitable for around 90% of applications. Permanent adhesive works well at room temperatures and will stick fast to the item. If you attempt to remove a paper based label from an item with permanent adhesive, the paper will tear. It can be possible to remove plastic based materials with permanent adhesives as the plastic face material can be very strong.

      Freezer adhesives are suitable for freezing temperatures. It is effectively a stronger version of a permanent adhesive. Freezer adhesives still only work well if the label is applied at room temperature and then frozen; not if applied to a frosted item as the frozen water will form a barrier between the label and the item.

      High tack adhesives are suitable for specific conditions such as high mechanical force or wet surfaces. High tack adhesives are designed for specific roles so call us on 01332 865933 to discuss what your application is.

      Orientation and Winding of your labels on rolls:

      diagram of different labels on rolls winding optionsLabels can normally be described as having an inside winding or outside winding. This simply describes whether the label is facing inside the roll or outside the roll.

      Orientation can be more difficult but if you look at the label, generally there will be a left side, right side, top an bottom that is evident from looking at the label. When describing the winding, we will often say head first or foot first to indicate top or bottom of the label. Alternatively, you can describe the label as left hand leading or right hand leading. The diagram shows how the orientations can be described.

      So when buying labels, along with the shape and size, just make sure to include the 4 main specifications we need to know:

      • Material
      • Adhesive
      • Orientation
      • Winding

      Give us a call to discuss on 01332 865933 or click the link or fill in the form:

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        Danro Promoted Nutridata for Nutrition Calculation Software

        NutriDATA-by-PID-LogoDanro was bought by Positive ID Labelling in November 2014 and moved from its base in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire to the Positive ID Labelling base in Melbourne, South Derbyshire. Since then, we have fully intergrated and rationalised the businesses into one base although we continue to trade as separate businesses in their own names.

        Positive ID Labelling MD John Mayers saw the need for Nutrition Labelling solutions in the wake of the EU Food Information to Consumer Regulations coming into full force in December 2016. To that end, the company has invested in developing a robust and easy to use Nutrition Calculation Software for small and large businesses to help them meet the legislation requirements. Nutridata was launched in May 2016 and is availabel to buy online from the Nutridata Website.

        The main changes coming into effect as a result of this regulation are:

        • Bigger Text on labels being no smaller than point size of about 7
        • Inclusion of allergen information in ingredient lists
        • Exclusion of allergen decalrations anywhere other than in the ingredient lists
        • Addition of strict nutrition labelling guidance on all pre-packaged foods
        • Strict rules on the front of pack nutrition declarations and ‘traffic light’ systems on packaging

        Nutrition Labelling

        All pre-packaged food for sale away from the point of manufacture must be labelled with a defined set of nutrition data. This includes:

        • Energy in kilojoules (kJ)
        • Energy in kilocalories (kcal)
        • Fat (in grams)
        • Saturated Fat (g)
        • Carbohydrate (g)
        • Sugar (g)
        • Protein (g)
        • Salt (g)

        This must be declared per 100g (or 100ml) of product and can optionally be declared by serving, pack or unit (e.g. a biscuit or chocolate square)

        Food businesses need to get on with delivering this information and can get ahead of the curve using our Nutrition Software on either a pay-as-you-go basis or by buying a lifetime license.

        John Mayers, MD Danro and Positive ID Labelling

        You can download a free evaluation copy of the software from the Nutridata Website and if you choose to buy, you can get a special Danro customer discount of 10% by using the coupon code Danro10 when you buy. The discount code applies until December 13th 2016 so buy now!

        You can find out more about the regulations by visiting a technical presentation on the website by clicking here: EUFIC Summary

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        Free Carriage on Internet Orders

        Free-DeliveryIn order to support our customers and help us reduce costs, Danro are now giving free carriage on all orders made over the internet. Commenting on the decisions, John Mayers, MD of Danro said:

        We have moved the Danro website from being a ‘catalogue’ website that just shows what we offer to a fully fledged e-commerce site allowing customers to complete their transactions at a time that suits their needs.

        There are several benefits for for Danro and customers; not least the saving of £10 on their orders.

        By allowing customers to complete their orders when they like, we are better able to process the orders through our systems at a time that suits us. This in turn frees up time during the day for our staff to deal with telephone traffic whilst being able to ensure the accuracy of orders are processed properly during quieter periods. This should lead to a reduction in errors and speed up pre-production processes.

        Additional benefits include a reduction in time wasted to chase late paying customers which not only leads to unproductive costs but also adds to the financial burdens of running a business.

        Take advantage of our free delivery options by shopping now.