Microwave labels need a special stock because many labels will melt when exposed to extreme heat, even for a short time. For example, plastic labels are not suitable because plastic melts.
For many food labels, we would recommend a synthetic stock with a laminate because such a stock offers protection to your food product. A synthetic label is strong and durable, making the label more likely to stick to the food container. The laminate protects the printing on the label so if food spills onto the label, the printing will be protected.
The option of a synthetic label plus laminate is not suitable for microwave labels. It is essential that both the food container and the label attached to the container are made of such a material that does not melt. We actually recommend a hot melt label stock with a varnish coating. The hot melt stock can withstand hot temperatures and the varnish adds extra protection to the label.
Microwave Labels And Freezer Labels
Much of the time when labels are attached to frozen food or the container holding this frozen food, then the food and/or its container will be placed in the microwave to thaw out quickly. If this is the case, then the microwave labels and freezer labels must be suitable to withstand very hot and very cold conditions. The hot melt stock with a varnish coating is suitable as these labels can cope with both hot and cold conditions as found in a microwave or freezer.
It is also important to use your freezer labels correctly. The most important point about freezer labels is the adhesive. It must be strong enough to withstand cold temperatures as found in a freezer. We recommend a bleached craft paper which has a permanent acrylic based adhesive. This is suitable if the label is adhered before the food is frozen but is not ideal if the label is to go in the microwave. If the label is to go in the microwave after it has been frozen, then the hot melt stock with a varnish coating will be the best choice.
Make Sure Your Food Labels Are Legal
Just as it is important to have the right stock for your microwave labels, it is also essential that you make sure your food labels are legal. This means you must identify the food you are selling. Include ingredients and identify the actual supplier of the food. Also, list any food additives and provide directions for storage. Nutritional information such as energy content should also be printed on your food labels. The food also needs to be date marked and you must abide by country of origin laws.