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What's the Difference Between Tamper Resistant and Tamper Evident Packaging?

March 23, 2019

The food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries are more vigilant than ever when it comes to product safety. Protecting the consumer is a manufacturer's top priority, which is why so many companies rely on tamper evident and tamper resistant packaging. These two terms are not the same, however. So let's take a look at how they differ.

What's the Difference?

  • Tamper Evident:The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a tamper evident seal as "one having one or more indicators or barriers to entry which, if breached or missing, can reasonably be expected to provide visible evidence to consumers that tampering has occurred." In other words, if the seal is removed and reapplied, it will be entirely obvious. For instance, a shrink band wrapped around the packaging must be torn -- and ultimately destroyed -- in order for someone to open the package. Tamper evident packaging does not protect the product from being compromised, but it does protect the consumer from unwittingly using a compromised product.
  • Tamper Resistant: These types of security labels are designed to stop someone from accessing the contents of the container. Tamper resistant packaging is purposely more difficult and time-consuming to open. However, it may not be quite as evident when the packaging has been tampered with.

Tamper Resistant Labels vs Tamper Evident Labels: Which Is Better?

Both of these security labels are highly important when it comes to consumer safety. A 2006 report published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) revealed that packaging and labeling issues were the cause of one-third of all medication errors and led to about 30% of fatalities from medication errors.

Experts do debate the superiority of these security labeling methods, but it does seem like tamper evident packaging has a leg up on tamper resistant packaging. Tamper resistant seals may be more difficult to break, but they are not fool-proof, and oftentimes, they don't leave any obvious trace of tampering.

For all of your packaging and labeling needs, tamper evident or otherwise, contact us today.

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