Using Wood Pallets for Transporting and Storing Food
Wood pallets have been used by companies for years to both store and transport their products. The reason for this is that they are surprisingly sturdy and reusable. If they ever break or fall apart, the wood that they are made of can be repurposed for fireplace material, or it can be built in to new pallets or other types of homemade projects. Some pallets are made of plastic, but wooden types are preferred because of a unique property that they have. Read on to find out more about this surprising secret.
The Benefits of Wood over Plastic
You don’t have to search far to find a wooden pallet in the food industry. They are one of the most readily available shipping products used, and that is all because of their hidden benefits. Wood is actually antimicrobial. Bacteria that comes in contact with it is absorbed. It then dies and cannot be transferred off again. Of course, the wood has to be unfinished to achieve this antimicrobial state. Finishes or lacquers actually hinder this process. Plastic pallets do not have this ability. Any microbes on the surface of something plastic stay there for quite a while. This means that they can be passed on to people or food that come in contact with them. In other words, wood pallets are actually a more sanitary method of transporting and storing food items than plastic is.
How Wood Absorbs Bacteria
Studies concerning how wood fights off bacteria are pretty amazing. Basically, the porous surface of wood is more susceptible to the absorption of bacteria if the atmosphere is slightly humidly, or the wood is damp or wet. The germs and bacteria (including dangerous E. coli) get pulled into the first millimeter of the wood. Then, as the wood dries, the germs and bacteria die off within a couple of hours. Even if the wood dries slowly or stays damp, the germs are not released from the wood.
The Effects of Bacteria on Certain Types of Wood
There is a reason that the average pallet supplier in Toronto provides mostly pallets made of pine to companies that need them for transporting or storing food. Every pallet supplier in Toronto knows that pine wood fights off bacteria the fastest and the best. Pine contains a natural resin that works so effectively that ants in the forest use it to protect themselves and their colonies from sickness and fungus. But, maple, cedar, and juniper woods all work effectively too.
Though wood pallets do an excellent job of preventing the spread of bacteria, it is recommended that preventative measures are still put in place to reduce the spread of germs. Meat products should always be kept separate from vegetables and fruits. Any spills on the pallets should be cleaned up right away. Also, wet pallets should be allowed to dry in the sun if they become saturated. Lastly, never place foods directly on to pallets. Always have a sanitary barrier.
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