The Intelligent Global Pool System (iGPS) has added new ammunition to its campaign to prove that wood pallets are unsafe for transporting food with a new round of pallet tests. iGPS rents all-plastic pallets with embedded RFID tags to shippers and receivers.
In a random sampling of wood pallets used to ship food in Portland, Me., and Philadelphia, Pa., numerous pallets tested positive for listeria and abnormally high counts of bacteria that could potentially create health hazards for consumers.
"This is an indication of unsanitary surfaces and could potentially create a health hazard for consumers," said Dr. Peter Kmieck, director of Kappa Laboratories Inc., which conducted the tests. "It's clear from the tests ... that wooden pallets can harbor a lot of bacteria, and even pathogens, because of wood's propensity to retain moisture," Kmieck said.
iGPS commissioned the new round of tests after submitting a limited random sampling of wood pallets gathered in the Washington-Baltimore area to another independent scientific laboratory for testing. The lab, Environmental Systems Service in Bedford, Va., found salmonella, E. coli, listeria or extremely high bacteria counts - as much as 6.8 million spores per gram - in more than one-third of the wood pallets tested.
"There is a growing body of evidence that wood pallets pose unacceptable risks to our nation's food supply," says Bob Moore, chairman and CEO, iGPS. "We are sharing the data from these tests with the FDA and are once again asking the agency to conduct a comprehensive investigation and adopt appropriate measures to mitigate the risks presented by wood pallets."
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