A consumer group wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to set minimum sanitary and safety standards for all pallets -- wood or plastic -- that are used to transport food throughout the United States.
"We believe it is essential to ensure that pathogens are not introduced at any step along the food transport system, from farm to fork," said Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League executive director. "Our testing of pallets has shown that these relatively unregulated but crucial parts of the food transportation system can and do harbor dangerous pathogens that could potentially contaminate the food supply."
The NCL tested pallets for E. coli and listeria. The findings found that 10 percent of the wood pallets tested had E. coli present. In addition, 2.9 percent of the wood pallets tested positive for listeria, and half of these, when further tested, contained listeria monocytogenes, one of the most virulent food-borne pathogens.
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