According to the Center for Disease Control’s National Outbreak Reporting System, 628 outbreaks of foodborne illnesses originated in grocery stores between 1998 and 2016. Collectively, these outbreaks caused 19 deaths and over 10,000 individuals to fall ill. Food contaminated somewhere in the supply chain, as it moved from the farm to the consumer’s table, was found to be responsible for the outbreaks. Grocery producers, sellers, and carriers were all faced with costly recalls and potential legal action. The public, on the other hand, experienced shocking health crises.
In order to mitigate future outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given the mandate to formulate standards for food processing, handling, and transportation. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a new set of regulations aimed at preventing contamination of food by bacteria, chemicals, or pests. As of April 6, 2018, these rules will govern all aspects of sanitary food transportation across the United States.
Plastic shipping pallets are far more sanitary than wooden platforms; companies who take advantage of plastic pallet pooling systems will find it easier to comply with the new food transportation rules. Non-porous plastic pallets don’t become harbors for moisture or fluids and don’t attract insects. Not only do they meet food grade pallet standards, they exceed them, beating out wood pallets as the leader in food grade pallet standards compliance.