Date Coders: Five Things You Need to Know

Date coders have a valuable role to play in the food industry in terms of food and food safety information

on every package that holds food products or on every label in which this information is included. Beyond this primary purpose, there are some other things you should keep in mind about these printing machines.

Decoding Date Coders

Keep in mind that the roles these food industry devices play for the food, grocery, and hospitality industries include:

  1. Bulk Worker: These devices are a great way of quickly and effectively labeling large quantities of proportioned food or individual food packages that must be produced and shipped in bulk measure. Machines are constructed for industrial use so that they withstand high print volumes over an extended time period.
  2. QC Specialist: The information must be printed clearly and accurately to protect the health and safety of the consumers or businesses that purchase that packaged food. This means that all information must be legible and maintain its integrity so that temperature changes, humidity, or human contact does not compromise the readability of the date information. These machines often provide high resolution capabilities to ensure that writing is clear and that the date stands out.
  3. Placement Expert: Placement of information that states when food must be sold, consumed, or discarded by must be carefully thought out. A data coder needs to be able to print on labels or packages in a safe spot where this crucial information does not get lost or torn off due to tampering or after the package is opened and partially used.
  4. Labor Reducer: Automating this type of labeling process saves on labor costs, creating a sustainable process for ensuring food safety enhancements on all products. Even hand-held date coding devices allow kitchen or storage staff at a food facility to quickly mark all food products that arrive with important dates.
  5. Multi-tasker: These devices can mark one line of information or they can do double duty by marking two lines, multiple lines of information or logos.

In Summary

A date coder works in many different ways to ensure food safety standards and help the restaurant, grocery store, or consumer keep track of the food’s freshness and window of safety wherein the food is safe to eat. Remember these highlights about this valuable piece of equipment:

  • As a workhorse, it can handle large quantities of packaging over an extended period of time.
  • As a quality controller, it can offer high resolution to ensure the sell by, use by, or dispose by date can be clearly read.
  • As a location advocate, it can select the optimum place on a package so that the date remains in clear view until the product is used up or disposed of.
  • As a labor reducer, it does more of the work to minimize the costs of staff handling such a time-intensive process.
  • As a multi-tasker, it can handle and print multiple lines of information or logos .


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