The question of whether or not you need to use a food grade plastic pallet can be a complicated one.
A food grade plastic pallet is made from materials that can come into direct contact with food. If your process involves the direct contact of the pallet with food, and you are manufacturing in The United States, you will most likely be required to use a FDA approved food grade plastic pallet.
The FDA is a compliance agency that looks at the chemical composition of the plastic material in order to determine that there is nothing in the material that will be harmful to the food supply. The FDA will then look at how this material performs under conditions of use and how it reacts with alcohols, greases and other contaminants.
After the FDA approves the material for direct food contact, the material must be processed by a manufacturer that is ISO 9000 Certified. Once the material is manufactured in compliance with ISO regulations, the FDA will provide the manufacturer with a certification of compliance. This certification can be provided to the end user of the plastic pallet to confirm that the pallet is FDA approved. An FDA approved food grade plastic pallet is generally manufactured in a blue color to visually designate the pallet as FDA approved.
Even when a pallet is food grade FDA approved, it must be cleaned after each trip in order to avoid contamination. Bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria are commonly found on pallets when they are not cleaned properly. Single piece, hygienic pallet designs are the best type of food grade plastic pallet to use. Eliminating crevasses and other areas where debris and bacteria can collect makes the pallet much easier to keep clean.
Still need help determining if you need a food grade pallet? Leave your question below. I am happy to help you out.
Post by: Mike Simon, Midwest Sales Executive