4 Signs of Unsafe Packaging

Reliable packaging is the key to product integrity. You need to make sure that the packaging on any products that you buy (or sell, for that matter) is safe and secure. This is especially true for any products that could present a possible risk of spoilage or cross-contamination. So, how do you know when you’ve got unsafe packaging? Here are five signs to keep an eye out for.

Lopsided or Uneven

There are some packages designed to have an asymmetrical design to them. However, for the vast majority of products available, if it is lopsided or uneven, it is most likely a sign that some pressure or weight has been put on one side of the product, often during transit. This can lead to a break in the packaging, especially along the seams.

Even if the packaging hasn’t been broken open, lopsided or uneven packaging for some materials could be a sign that moisture has worn away at the integrity of the packaging, meaning that the product within is most likely contaminated as well.

Smells, Moldy or Discolored

There are some signs of rotten or expired products that should be immediately taken as a sign that it’s no longer safe to keep. If your package’s color has changed or faded, if it smells (especially rancid or rotten smells), or if you see any signs of mold, you shouldn’t keep it.

This is a good sign that the product inside has spoiled or experienced some form of cross-contamination. If you keep it alongside your other products, there’s a good chance the mold or contamination could spread even further, too.


If the package is leaking fluids of any kind, be it water or otherwise, then you should throw the product away. Some products naturally have fluid or water inside them, but if it’s leaking through the packaging, then the packaging isn’t doing its job of keeping the product safe and secure.

In other cases, condensation and moisture can form, and this can start to leak from the product and out of the box. If that happens, then it’s a good sign that the product itself might be moldy or expiring. Moisture is one of the leading causes of expiration.

Damaged, Cracked, Broken, or Dented

Lastly, if there is any visible sign of damage in the packaging, then it’s clear that the product inside is not going to have been protected from the environment of cross-contamination. Packaging is designed to keep the product safe first and foremost. If the packaging is comprised, then the product is compromised either.

Damage can happen in transit due to poor packing, it can happen on shelves due to being picked up and put down too forcefully, or it can happen because the packaging wasn’t reliable enough to weather its shelf life. Either way, don’t keep packaging that shows any visible signs of damage.

Beyond the signs above, if you have any doubt about the reliability of your packaging, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you need reliable packaging for your products, then packaging teams can help you get just that.