It is not always evident at a glance what state the contents of a container are in, and if said contents will eventually be prepared for consumption, the presence of an unknown element can be dangerous. Still, industrial labels should provide detailed descriptions of contents and perhaps any possible dangers, as bad shipments can have large-scale consequences.
Recently, strains of botulism were discovered in whey protein powder sold to companies in New Zealand, and the announcement of this discovery has triggered a series of embargoes in other countries, specifically in regards to the milk powder products the powder was manufactured for. According to NBC, China in particular has blocked shipments of milk products from the country.
This milk powder in question is chiefly used for baby formula, but the same source reports that New Zealand powdered dairy represents the majority of China's dairy imports. Russia has also enacted similar blocks on those imports, even though there have been no recorded cases of consumers contracting botulism yet from these shipments.
Nevertheless, the issue is so serious that Tim Groser, New Zealand's Trade Minister, supported China's recent actions.
"It's better to do blanket protection for your people and then wind it back when we, our authorities, are in a position to give them the confidence and advice that they need before doing that," Groser said in a statement reported by NBC.
Whether it's a direct consumer-facing carton label or something on a larger scale that needs durable labels, proper display methods are essential and should be sought out at all times.