Food labeling is an important element of kitchen prep and food safety standards. Correct food labeling helps you track the movement of food in your kitchen across the week.
It’s not only good practice, but it’s the right thing to do for your customers. Sometimes, it can be hard to justify spending unnecessarily on food labels because you think masking tape has worked fine in the past. Simply put, that’s because you haven’t experienced the increased efficiency, reduction of food waste, and increased safety standards that food labels offer. It’s time to toss that tape and stick with food labels.
The first benefit of using food labels is that you’ll increase your kitchen’s efficiency. There are several things that can hinder the efficiency of a kitchen. The easiest and quickest solution is to adjust how you’re doing your food prep. Using food labels will speed up your food prep. Food labels are color-coded and easy to remove and place on containers.
You have the option of choosing labels that have all the requirements on them so all an employee needs to do is fill in the information. This prevents busy workers from writing incomplete labels or forgetting to put all the required safety and rotation info on the label. It’s a simple process and employees are far more likely to fill in the blanks when the labels already have what’s needed printed on them.
Another reason food labels are better for your restaurant than using masking tape is that it will decrease the amount of food waste your restaurant sees. This is becoming increasingly important as restaurants move towards a global consciousness. According to various studies, a single restaurant can produce anywhere from 25,000 to 75,000 pounds of food waste in a single year. Not only is that bad for the environment, it’s bad for your bottom line. You’re basically throwing away money! A great way to avoid wasting food is proper labeling. Whether it’s the color of the label or what’s printed on it, labels make it easy to determine which food should be used first and, during a lunch rush, avoiding the guessing game is a money and time saver.
Food rotation labels are also more sanitary than using masking tape. Masking tape will likely leave a residue on your prep containers and unless the staff diligently removes every bit of tape, you run the risk of having a clogged-up dishwasher. The sticky residue on your containers is also a problem. It builds up over time and bacteria just loves sticky, unclean areas. The remaining residue on your storage containers is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to stick and grow. Not only do you run the risk of having an unsanitary kitchen, when you use masking tape your labor dollars are spent on staff scraping off crusty tape.