Tamper-proof packaging is a very useful tool, and its concept is very simple. When a package is sent from one place to the other, it is often very hard to guarantee its security while in transit. Even with very expensive items, it is not realistic to monitor the cargo 24 hours a day. Therefore, there will always be opportunities for product tampering and other mishandling.
The solution to this problem is simpler than most would think. Instead of trying to create a tamper-proof package (which is basically impossible), many companies now concentrate on making packages that give clear indicators of whether or not the package has been opened. A “seal of freshness” is one common example of tamper-evident packaging. You can’t necessarily stop someone from tampering with a product, but you can make sure that their tampering will be detected.
Why Use Tamper-Evident Packaging?
The first (and most important) reason comes down to one thing: Customer safety. While consumers might forgive a bad experience, they are unlikely to forgive a company that has put their safety at risk. Likewise, people are unlikely to continue doing business with someone who has placed a member of their family at risk. The bottom line is this: When someone tampers with one of your products, your company will have to deal with the fallout that will inevitably come.
This kind of thing can absolutely ruin a business, and there are many clear examples of such. For instance, consider the case of a famous restaurant chain called “Jack In The Box.” Some of their many locations received a shipment of tainted meat patties back in 1993. Because the management was not aware of the problem immediately, 732 people were infected with E.Coli bacteria. Four children died, and a lot of people were left with lasting and serious health issues. While Jack In The Box is still in business, they are nowhere near as numerous as they once were. A reputation is kind of like glass…Once it has been shattered, there is no way to put it back together.
It is possible that this problem could have been prevented through the use of tamper-evident packaging. If it had been used, the management might have realized that something was wrong and thrown the meat away. Of course, no one knows if this famous incident of mass food poisoning was deliberate or accidental. That brings us to an important point. From the perspective of a manufacturer, it doesn’t matter if the tainting of a product is deliberate or accidental. The results are the same, and the consequences will be the same for you (and your customers).
So, you want your customers to be safe, and you want your company to be safe from repercussions. Obviously, safety is the most important consideration here. Of course, tamper proof packaging also offers proof to the customer that their product will be both clean and fresh. In the case of food products, this factor is particularly important. Even if there is no real risk, your customer will surely appreciate the sanitary benefits of this type of packaging. With a tamper-proof package, you don’t have to worry about items becoming filthy in transit.
Types Of Tamper-Evident Packaging
Tamper-evident packaging comes in many forms, but it is most commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. For instance, most over-the-counter pills will be packaged in a blister pack. Each pill will be individually sealed, which makes it nearly impossible to tamper with the product without breaking the seal. Since each chamber is an airtight bubble, you can squeeze them to determine if the package has been punctured in any way.
Another good example of tamper-evident packaging are lids that make a popping sound when opened for the first time. They have a small air bubble inside, and this will break upon the first opening. Thus, a customer can listen for the popping noise and discard the product if it isn’t heard.
The lids of most beverage containers have a tamper-evident ring around the base of the lid. This ring is perforated for easy detachment, but it can only be removed once. Thus, there is no way to penetrate the packaging without leaving an obvious sign. These safety rings are found on soda bottles, milk bottles, and many other things of that sort.
A type of tamper-evident tape is often used on packages that contain sensitive items. This tape will leave letters or other marking behind when it is ripped from the package. If someone tries to replace the tape, it will not stick properly, and the lines will not line up perfectly. Thus, tape like this can be a great way to ensure the security of items in transit.
How Common Is Product Tampering?
No one really seems to understand why some people like to tamper with products. In some cases, it might come down to nothing more than malice. There are just some people out there who get a sadistic thrill from inflicting harm on others. For instance, there have been several recent cases in which people have been caught licking ice cream at grocery stores. They will take the item from the shelf, remove the lid, lick the product inside, and then replace the item on the shelf. Some people seem to regard this as a funny prank (until they go to jail, of course!).
Unfortunately, we were not able to find definitive numbers to show exactly how often this sort of thing happens. However, we can easily find records of people being arrested for product tampering, some of which have already been mentioned. Consider this man, who was caught inserting sharp foreign objects into sausage links. This sick individual was caught pouring hydrogen peroxide into food items at the local Target. When it’s this easy to find such shocking examples, you can see that the problem is a major one.
In the end, tamper-evident packaging has one purpose. It forces those who would tamper with a product to leave signs of their activities. That will allow smart companies and consumers to avoid the risk. If you have enjoyed this article, and if you would like to read more of our work, feel free to fill out the contact form below.