How to Use Food Rotation Labels

Foodservice workers and food handlers alike understand the importance of food safety, especially amidst a global pandemic. While food safety labels can help you cut down on costs, organize inventory, and decrease food waste, they are also a necessity since FDA guidelines require kitchens to use them by law. However, if your staff isn’t using them correctly, they face the risk of missing rotation guidelines and spreading foodborne illnesses. 

First and foremost, food labels help prevent cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne illnesses. They also keep track of potential allergens or additives. Failing to use them properly not only puts your guests at risk, but it can also put you in some hot water with your health inspector.

Utilizing a food rotation labeling system like our DateIt™ System can help you minimize those risks. Depending on the food containers you place labels on, you can choose from removable labels or dissolvable labels. Some labels work better for freezer applications, while others lend themselves well to dry goods storage. You can also choose from a range of different designs, like “Use By” or “Use First” labels, “Sanitized” labels, or Day of the Week labels. Other labels allow space to write in the type of item, the prep date, and its use by date. It’s good practice to include the following information on your labels:

  • Name of the food/drink
  • List of ingredients and allergens (if applicable)
  • Date prepared or opened
  • Use by date
  • Weight or volume (if applicable)

Be sure employees follow a set standard while using food safety labels and writing expiration dates. Staff members should also follow good practices for rotating the food in coolers based on the use-by dates. If everyone is following a different set of standards, errors are bound to happen.

Here at NCCO, we have a wide range of products to choose from for your food safety labeling needs. If you want to eliminate time spent on handwritten labels, consider investing in a machine that prints labels automatically, like the DateCodeGenie®. It takes the guesswork out of reading labels and can save time and increase productivity.