Let’s face it: when it comes to food, we live in a grab-and-go world. Few people have the time or want to make the time to prepare something for lunch, breakfast and even dinner any longer. So instead, they grab something to eat while they are on the go.
As the grab-and-go food world has evolved, so have grab-and-go labels. The first such labels cropped up in the 1970s, according to Professor Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic.
Today, grab-and-go labels are an essential part of helping consumers make informed, healthy choices with regard to food products. Systems such as DayMark’s Matt85 hardware bundle have come a long way in the efforts to increase labeling efficiencies for foodservice operations.
While these labels have helped consumers make purchasing selections, however, it appears that some of the terminology on the labels has caused a bit of confusion over the years. Further, it’s possible that it’s not just the consumers that are confused, but many in the foodservice industry, as well.
So, just to see how well-versed you are on grab-and-go terminology, grab a pen and paper and answer true or false to the following questions. Then check your answers with the correct ones below.
Ready for the quiz? Let’s begin:
- A product labeled “gluten free” means the product is completely free of gluten proteins. T/F?
- The top food allergens required to be identified on a food label are wheat, soy, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and eggs. T/F?
- Eggs labeled “free range” means the chickens that laid the eggs are allowed to forage around a farmyard freely. T/F?
- “Best if used by” refers to the time when the food is at its peak as to flavor and quality. T/F?
- False. A gluten-free food is not necessarily gluten free. Food must contain fewer than 20 parts per million gluten to bear this label, an amount that many experts believe is far too high to be considered truly gluten free.
- True. These are the top eight food allergens required to be identified on food labels
- False. This term seems to be universally misunderstood. Rather, it means that the chickens have “access to the outside.”
- True. “Best if used by” is a new term, one created to help end a lot of grab-and-go terminology confusion.
So, how’d you do? If you, a retailer, were stumped on a couple of these, just think about our poor consumer.
It’s easy to see why some clarification of these terms is needed and why retailers must educate themselves—and their customers—about what these terms mean. Once everyone has that down, retailers can help educate customers so that they can make more effective purchasing decisions—ultimately helping the food service industry reduce costs and food waste.
This post is sponsored by DayMark Safety Systems