Produce is susceptible to a number of things, including bacteria, mold, and pests. If your plant produces and ships lettuce and other vulnerable produce, you must find a way to keep your produce and shipping pallets safe. Learn why and how you need to protect your produce and pallets below.
Why Should You Protect Your Produce and Pallets?
Infection control is one of the most effective ways to keep fresh produce and wooden pallets safe from pathogens, pests, and fungi. However, you must practice good infection control methods throughout your facility, including before and after shipping your goods. If you don't practice good infection control, many of the items you produce and ship could arrive at their destinations contaminated.
Some organisms, such as E.coli and listeria, can live on the surfaces of your produce and wooden pallets for long periods of time. Many organisms can survive on cold, damp, and unclean surfaces. If place unwashed produce on damp and unsanitized pallets, you could make the situation worse for your facility.
You can protect your produce and pallets with the right infection control methods.
How Should You Protect Your Produce and Pallets?
First, be sure to wash and dry your produce properly before you place, store, or house the produce on your pallets. You can reduce the contamination of your produce if you follow these methods. You also want to use pallets that safer for your products, including heat-treated pallets.
Heat-treated pallets lack the chemicals and additives that chemically-treated pallets possess. Some chemicals can make fruit and vegetables unsafe to consume. Instead of using chemicals, the wood used to fabricate heat-treated pallets is generally heated for 30 minutes to a temperature of 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit (56 degrees Celsius) or above. The temperature helps destroy any organisms that might infect your pallets and produce during storage and transport as well as any organisms that may already be inside your wooden pallets.
You also want to keep the storage spaces for your pallets dry and well-sanitized. Organisms, such as fungus and bacteria, can grow well in damp conditions. If possible, assign specific cleaning duties to some of your crew or workers. You can also obtain cleaning services from an outside industrial cleaning company to help you maintain a clean work environment for your pallets.
If your current pallets aren't safe enough to store, ship, or transport your produce, contact a supplier today for more information on heat-treated pallets.