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The Ultimate Guide to Food Rotation Labels

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By Rachel Morgan May 27, 2017 No comments

As a restaurant owner, chef, or other staff member, you spend a lot of time, effort, and money making sure your restaurant is the best in your area. You buy the best food items, the best equipment, and provide the best experience to your customers. There may be one thing you might be forgetting, though...

Food Rotation Labeling

Once you spend all that money on the top-rated food, the equipment to prepare it, and the overall experience for your guests, you want to be sure your long-term process is just as top-of-the-line. One of the ways you can do this is by ensuring your inventory and food rotation program is up to scratch.Do I really need a food rotation system? What's the big deal?

Yes!

There are so many benefits to having a food rotation system in place. Not only does the FDA require proper labeling and dating of food products, but it can help you save money, reduce food waste, and stay organized.

Other advantages of a food rotation system include:

1. It organizes stock and inventory.

Streamline and prevent misorganization. A proper food rotation program will allow your employees to quickly and efficiently store and prepare food.

2. Reduce food waste and control kitchen costs.

By allowing staff to designate which items come into the restaurant first and therefore use those items before later additions, you reduce food spoilage and the associated costs to food waste.

3. Have confidence in your food products.

Knowing you're only serving the freshest, highest quality food to customers provides peace of mind and enstills confidence in your product.

4. Prevent foodborne illnesses.

Food safety should be one of the highest priorities you have as a restaurant owner. Reduce the risk of bacteria and contaminates with a food rotation program.

How do I start?

Once you've made the commitment to putting a food rotation program in place, there are a lot of options available to you on how to get started. Most restaurants choose to use food rotation labels or masking tape. We'll talk about the risks of using masking tape a little later, but for now, let's talk about food rotation labels.

First, choose a material type.

There are four main material types for food rotation labels: Dissolve It, Might Peel, Ultra Removable, and Cold Temp. You can learn more about material types here.

Dissolve It

Dissolve It labels are completely dissolvable and will disappear in 30 seconds or less in any water temperature. No sticky residue; no mess. This is our most popular material type!

Mighty Peel

Mighty Peel labels are made of a durable, plastic material and remove cleanly from food prep and storage containers. Mighty Peel labels are water-resistant and good for freezer applications.

Ultra Removable

Ultra Removable labels have a basic paper face and will remove cleanly, just like Mighty Peel. Because Ultra Removable labels are made of paper instead of plastic, they are more cost effective than Mighty Peel.

Cold Temp

Cold Temp labels are perfect for freezer applications and submerging in ice. These labels are permanent and ideal for disposable containers.

Next, choose a label type.

Depending on your kitchen needs, there are a variety of food rotation labels to choose from including different shapes, sizes, languages, and information included on the label. You can customize your food rotation program to fit your specific needs. Speak with one of our food rotation experts if you need help!

Day of the Week Dots and Half Dots

Day of the Week Labels

Item Shelf Life Label

Use By Label

Use First Label

Use Last Label

Allergen Alert Label

Not sure what you need?

Check out our food rotation intro sets for a good starting place. Each intro set comes with a label dispenser and your first set of labels.

Should I use food rotation labels?

By using designated food rotation labels in a streamlined system, staff can be assured they are doing everything possible to ensure food safety, eliminate foodborne illness and disease, and prevent cross-contamination in the restaurant kitchen.

The benefits of food rotation labels include:

  • Leaves no adhesive residue behind, so no more scrubbing pots and pans
  • Prevents cross-contamination and foodborne illness
  • Provides better solutions for organization
  • Reduces food waste
  • Ensures first-received items are used first
  • Reduces excess costs
  • Streamlines food inventory controls

But, won't masking tape work? It's cheap and versatile right?

Sorry to disappoint, but no.

We all love a good bargain, but there are more negatives than positives when it comes to using masking tape for food rotation. The lower price might be great for temporary fixes in a home or office environment, but not in a restaurant kitchen and pantry.

Masking tape is not ideal for restaurants and kitchens for a number of reasons, including:

1. Masking tape is not intended to interact with water.

The paper face dissolves and the adhesive becomes a sticky mess, leaving you with an unsightly mess.

2. Masking tape can harbor harmful bacteria and contaminates.

Maintaining a clean and sterile kitchen is of utmost importance. Keep health inspectors happy with food rotation labels that are designed specifically for kitchen use.

3. Masking tape does not stand out in a busy kitchen.

Food rotation labels are color-coded for kitchen use and make it easy for employees to quickly and efficiently identify and use food products.

4. Not freezer-safe.

Masking tape was never meant to be used in sub-freezing temperatures and might lose its adhesive qualities in temperature changes.

So, How much can I expect to pay?

We know a budget-friendly value is one of the prime concerns for your restaurant. That’s why Dot It's food rotation labels are priced to fit any budget! Individual rolls of labels containing from 500 to 1,000 labels have prices starting at $2.52/roll. Our patented DaySpenser® is a plastic clamshell label dispenser with prices starting at $13.44, and our introductory food label sets start at $29.08 and include the dispenser and an initial set of labels.

Browse our full rotation label inventory here.

Why should I choose Dot It?

Dot It's mission is to make your restaurant life easy. Our team is dedicated to providing you the best products at the best prices.

Reasons our customers love us:

  • Large inventory of food rotations to choose from
  • Quality assured- We print our labels in house!
  • Enhanced online shopping experience over $49 (Excludes international shipping)
  • Free returns within 30 days
  • Customer support and live chat

Ready to get started? Shop online at dotit.com, or call us at 800-642-3687.