Food safety is a huge concern in the food and beverage industry. Any business in the sector must ensure their food is safe for the end consumer and prevent contamination at any stage in the supply chain. Even a small case of contamination can cost dearly and result to legal liabilities.
Plastic food pallets offer a hygienic solution for ensuring the safety of products during export, shipment or internal warehousing.
Plastic vs. Wood
Are plastic pallets superior to wood pallets? The answer is a resounding yes. The great debate has already been settled, the use of plastic pallets is already a growing trend in the F&B industry. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Resistance to moisture. Food-grade plastic pallets are non-porous. This means there are no hidden reserves that will hold moisture or fluids that harbour moulds or pathogens (such as Salmonella, Listeria and coli). Since there are no fibres in the material, fluids from raw foods such as meat can easily be cleaned and sanitised between loads. The non-porous surface also ensures no harsh chemical residue from cleaning agents will build up and get in contact with the food.
- Does not require fumigation. Wood pallets often require fumigation or some sort of heat treatment to repel pests (such as the ambrosia beetle and the emerald ash borer) and fungus. Such treatments can make the pallets more susceptible to mould growth, and they sometimes use chemicals that are not considered food-safe. In fact, a well-documented case of Johnson & Johnson product recalls years ago was directly linked to chemical treatments applied to wood pallets, specifically, the toxic pesticide 2, 4, 6-tribomoanisole (TBA).
- Resistance to heat. Heat resistance is one of the inherent properties of our plastic pallets, which lend them superior durability. Even in high heat or humidity, the pallets are guaranteed to perform well without breaking or warping.
- Lightweight. Our pallets are designed to be hard at work yet easy to use. They provide the support and efficiency required in moving products through the supply chain, without adding to the bulk or weight. A standard 48” x 40” pallet can hold up to 2,800 pounds. As a result, using our food-grade plastic pallets can help lower your shipping costs by adding less weight to shipments and speeding up the delivery of goods.
- Long operational life. Moisture and fluids are bad news for wood pallets. Once the pallets get soaked, they become hard to clean and dry completely. Over time, they become brittle and prone to contamination. Plastic eliminates this problem, so they can be used over and over for a relatively longer operational life. Even better, old pallets can be recycled into other products. This reduces your operational expenses and waste.
- Keeps products in good condition. Splinters or protruding nails on wood pallets can bruise or puncture food products, making contamination more likely to occur. But this is never the case with plastic pallets. These pallets are made with high-quality plastic that is moulded to produce a solid block construction with no nails or screws necessary.
- Environmentally friendly. Although plastics generally have a bad rap, plastic pallets are particularly more eco-friendly compared to their wooden counterparts. They can be ground and re-used to make new pallets.
Rotational Plastics have a range of food-grade pallets that provide both sanitary performance and exceptional value. Our pallets come in various sizes, colours and configurations to suit all possible kinds of applications. For instance, some types have ribbing or lip edges for better stability of the products during transit.
Given the safety, cleanliness and reliability of plastic pallets, more and more food companies are transitioning to using them for their shipping and warehousing activities.