Plastic pallets and containers for food and drink industry
29 Apr 2014
Plastic pallets have long been seen as an alternative to wooden pallets in many different environments. One of the areas where they offer most benefits is within the food and drink industries. This is due to their superior hygiene standards, durability and ease of use.
Wooden pallets can never offer the same levels of hygiene as plastic ones can. Wood is a prime breeding ground for a range of bacteria, including E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella. However, plastic is resistant to these bacteria, as well as fungus, making it an excellent choice for food as it limits the amount of contamination that is possible.
Plastic pallet containers are also waterproof and not affected by humidity. This allows them to be used for goods where it’s essential that they remain dry, such as cereals, coffee, chocolate and pharmaceuticals. The plastic doesn’t absorb any odours or tastes, so it won’t have any impact on the quality of the goods being transported.
Easy to clean
If pallets are to be reused for food and drink products it’s vital that they are cleaned thoroughly beforehand to prevent any contamination. Wooden pallets cannot be cleaned effectively and, therefore, cannot be used more than once for these types of goods. Plastic pallets on the other hand are easy to wash and clean, allowing them to be used time and time again without having any detrimental effects on the items they’re carrying. A plastic pallet can be cleaned using a high pressure washing system. Alternatively, it can be sterilised up to a maximum temperature of 120oC without having any impact on the quality of the pallet.
One of the benefits of pallets made from plastic is that they are far easier to handle and manoeuvre than wooden ones. They are more uniform in size and design, making it easier to load them onto forklifts and store in lorries or warehouses. They are also considerably lighter, so are easier to lift either manually or with the use of machinery. Wooden pallets tend to change their size or shape after they’ve been used once, as they absorb water and can become damaged. However, a used plastic pallet will be the same as a new one.
Strength and durability
Plastic pallet containers are extremely durable, so they can be used a number of times without impacting on the quality. They can be constructed to carry a range of weights, from lightweight options to heavy duty models. This means a customer can choose the right option for their goods, so they’re less likely to break in transit.
With a plastic pallet there are no issues with splinters or nails, that could injure operators or contaminate food. They offer more support and protection for goods being transported, reducing the need for customers to return damaged stock, which saves the supplier money.
A plastic pallet is the best option for the food and drink industry. It provides a number of benefits over wood, with minimal risks involved.