The Role of Plastic Pallets in Ensuring Food Logistics Safety

If you work in food logistics, chances are you’ve heard stories about product recalls for everything from romaine lettuce to sausage. Recalls are a nightmare as they can cost companies millions of dollars. Contaminated products can also make consumers extremely ill. 

Wood pallets are one of the biggest sources of contamination in the food logistics industry. Wood pallets aren’t very easy to clean, so bacteria can easily find its way into and onto food products. 

Sticking with plastic pallets, such as plastic skids by ORBIS, is far safer and can prevent contamination. Below, learn how plastic pallets can help protect food as it travels through the supply chain. 

Plastic Pallets Can Keep Your Business FSMA Compliant 

To help stave off foodborne illnesses, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The act states you must keep your food storage facility both clean and cool to discourage bacterial growth. You must also establish and maintain controls to prevent contamination from fungi, chemicals, and debris. 

Other FSMA rules for food logistics include: 

  • Importers must verify that international suppliers comply with FDA requirements. 
  • Businesses must comply with minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and storing produce. 
  • FDA-registered facilities must document mitigation strategies for each contamination vulnerability. 
  • Companies must meet sanitary requirements for the transportation of food. 

The FSMA is a law, which means violations could carry criminal penalties. You may have to pay heavy fines, and the FDA could force you to recall your products and even shut down your facility. Switching to plastic pallets can help your business avoid costly FSMA violations. 

Plastic Pallets Don’t Harbor Dangerous Bacteria 

No matter how clean wood pallets look, they can harbor potentially deadly bacteria you can’t see with the naked eye. Wood pallets are porous, which means they absorb moisture like a sponge. This makes them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mildew, and mold. 

Water isn’t the only thing you’ll have to worry about with wood pallets. Handlers can accidentally set pallets in spilled chemicals, potentially poisoning consumers. Meat liquids are another common contaminant that can cause a deadly E. coli outbreak. 

Most companies use wood pallets repeatedly, sometimes without properly disinfecting them. That’s just asking for a foodborne illness outbreak and an expensive product recall. 

Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are non-porous and cannot absorb moisture. They’re also far easier to disinfect. 

Plastic Pallets Don’t Splinter or Warp

Wood pallets aren’t particularly durable. After a few trips, they can splinter and crack. Damaged pallets may also have exposed nails that pose a danger to food handlers and puncture product packaging. 

Splinters are bad news if you’re shipping loose food products like apples or onions. Imagine that a splinter gets stuck in an apple. A customer takes a bite and ends up with a painful cut in their mouth. 

With plastic pallets, food logistics companies don’t have to worry about splintering, cracking, or exposed nails. Plastic pallets don’t have any loose pieces that could end up in your products. 

Plastic Pallets Are Environmentally Friendly 

Some people associate plastic with “bad for the environment,” but the opposite is true. Unlike wood, which is a finite resource, plastic can be recycled and used repeatedly. Many plastic pallets are made from recycled plastic that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean or a landfill. 

Switching to plastic pallets can be a smart PR move for your brand. Today’s savvy consumers prefer doing business with companies that care about their carbon footprint. They’ll appreciate knowing you ship your goods with pallets made from 100% recycled plastic. 

Protect Your Brand With Pallets From ORBIS Corporation

If your food logistics team is ready to make the switch from wood pallets to plastic pallets, reach out to ORBIS Corporation. Our plastic pallets are perfect for food manufacturing and easy to disinfect, stack, and transport. We offer pallets suitable for meat, dairy products, produce, and many other food items. 

Contact us at (800) 890-7292 to request a quote for our plastic pallets today.