If you work in the food and beverage industry, particularly in an area where you’re responsible for the shipping or distribution of food or beverage products, it’s important for you to know and follow FDA compliance and requirements. Failure to do so can expose your company to liability and fines and put consumers at risk.
How Does the FDA impact the Supply Chain?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has made a commitment to ensuring food safety across the supply chain, including during the transportation of food products. The FDA has expanded the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for just this purpose.
What Are the FDA Requirements Under FSMA?
The FSMA sanitary transportation requirements relevant to your pallets can be found under the FDA rules on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food. These rules state, among other things, that transportation equipment used to transport food must be designed so that the food does not become unsafe to consume in transport and that procedures to prevent cross-contamination of food must be followed.
Is There a Real Threat of Cross-Contamination in Pallet Transportation?
Yes, and this is the critical issue. Historically, pallets for shipping have been made of wood. While some companies have found wood pallets useful, they create a serious problem for FSMA compliance. Wood easily absorbs moisture, meaning when you wash wood pallets to remove any potential contaminants, you actually create a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi and general microbial growth.
This problem creates an impossible Catch-22 for companies using wood pallets for food or beverage transportation. You must clean the pallets to remove existing contaminants, but when you do, you turn them into a vector for cross-contamination due to moisture absorption.
The solution, as many in the food and beverage industry are discovering, is plastic pallets. Plastic pallets are easy to clean, with most debris and contamination washing off when water is applied. Unlike wood pallets, they do not retain this water, so you’re free to use them after cleaning without fear of cross-contamination.
Where to Find Pallets That Meet or Exceed FDA Sanitary Transportation Pallet Requirements
If you have a concern that your pallets are not meeting FSMA carrier regulations, you’ll be happy to know that there is a simple solution. Plastic pallets from Polymer Solutions International, such as Polymer Solutions International’s one-piece hygienic pallets, are easy to sanitize and can come complete with an anti-microbial coating that will satisfy FDA regulations and protect items transported on them from contamination.
PSI plastic pallets have many other benefits as well. They’re lightweight, making transporting them easier on your workers and equipment. They’re also easy to identify and track, and they’re better at protecting food from damage. Finally, they’re fully reusable and recyclable, which is better for the environment and offers cost savings to your company.
To order PSI hygienic plastic pallets for your food and beverage industry business — or for more information on PSI product lines and FDA guidelines — contact Polymer Solutions International today.