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PACKAGING

Guide to food packaging security Pierre Pienaar FAIP*

Packaging security is critical to food, keeping food fresh as well as safe to eat. Packaging security encompasses everything from consumer tampering to bioterrorism to product counterfeiting.

T

he definition of tamper-evident packaging is: Packaging having an indicator or barrier to entry which, if breached or missing, can reasonably be expected to provide visible or audible evidence to consumers that tampering has occurred.

Tamper evidence in packaging Tampering involves the intentional altering of information, a product, a package or system. Solutions may involve all phases of product production, distribution, logistics, sale and use. No single solution can be considered as ‘tamper-proof’. In most cases, many levels of security need to be considered to minimise the risk of tampering. Some considerations are: • Identify all feasible methods of unauthorised access into a product or package. In addition to the primary means 70

of entry, also consider secondary or ‘back door’ methods. • Identify type of tampering, including what level of knowledge, materials or equipment is involved. • Improve the tamper resistance by making tampering more difficult. • Add tamper-evident features to help indicate the existence of tampering. • Educate consumers so they are aware of tampering. • Ensure that the window of opportunity for tampering is minimised.

Product packaging Tamper-evident design is possibly most visible in product packaging and labelling, where it can be critical to know that the product has not been modified since leaving the manufacturer.

What’s New in Food Technology Mar/Apr 2015  

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