ORLANDO, FL (PRNewswire) — In the fifth of a series of independent tests, wood shipping pallets that transport food were discovered carrying E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella and other pathogens that could spread illness.
This evidence has caught the attention of public officials in New York, who are advancing legislation to ban the use of wood pallets for the transportation of meat and other fresh foods.
In 1999, Coca-Cola recalled 14 million cases of soft drinks in Europe after hundreds of people reported feeling ill after drinking products that were found to have a strange odor, traced by the company to a phenol compound that was applied to wooden shipping pallets.
John J. Pascale is an independent microbiologist and the Lab Director for ESS Laboratory of Bedford, VA. They conducted these series of tests for iGPS, a company who sells and rents plastic pallets. “Any porous surface, like the rough-sawn wood used to make wood pallets, has the potential to harbor many types of bacteria - including food pathogens, he stated.
The iGPS test results are consistent with similar findings by the USDA and FDA. A new USDA study found Salmonella-causing bacteria can also be harbored on wooden shelving carts used for transporting eggs into processing plants. According to the FDA's Guidance for Industry: Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Refrigerated or Frozen Ready-To-Eat Foods (February, 2008), “In areas where RF-RTE refrigerated-ready to eat foods are processed or exposed, we recommend that you use pallets that can be easily cleaned and keep them in good condition, and that you not use wood pallets in areas where RF-RTE foods are processed or exposed or in other areas for wet processing and storage.”