In a random sampling of wood pallets used to ship food in Portland, ME, and Philadelphia, PA, numerous pallets tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and abnormally high counts of bacteria that could potentially create health hazards for consumers. The new data bolster the findings of previous wood pallet testing conducted in the Washington-Baltimore area, further illustrating the
In Portland, five of 30 pallets tested positive for Listeria. Three of the five pallets tested positive for the most serious strain of Listeria, called Listeria monocytogenes, which is the causative agent for Listeriosis. Responsible for approximately 2,500 illnesses and 500 deaths in the United States annually, Listeriosis is the leading cause of death among food borne bacterial pathogens, with fatality rates exceeding even Salmonella spp. and Clostridium botulinum.
"There is a growing body of evidence that wood pallets pose unacceptable risks to our nation's food supply. 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.
New pallets should be more hygienic, easier to handle and eliminate protruding nails and splinters, reduce workplace injuries and damaged equipment. Embedded RFID tags will enable shippers and receivers to track and trace shipments. In the case of iGPS pallets they are 100% recyclable. Launched in March 2006, the company is led by pallet and supply chain veterans with decades of experience. iGPS (www.igps.net) is headquartered in Orlando, FL.