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What does egg box labelling mean?

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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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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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: