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Ensuring the Hygiene of Reusable Containers

Posted by IFCO Systems
January 06, 2016

As we begin the 2016 calendar year, food safety improvements will be top of mind for many through the fresh supply chain. Growers and retailers can examine cleanliness associated with their shipping containers in an effort to improve their overall food safety programs. Using reusable plastic containers is just one solution to consider. We’ve detailed how IFCO ensures the hygiene of RPCs to help keep your food safety program on track:

The Diversey™ Guarantee

All IFCO service centers use Diversey™ detergents and disinfectants from Sealed Air, who ensures the hygiene of all IFCO RPCs washed with Diversey detergents and disinfectants through an integral cleaning and sanitation program. Sealed Air has provided IFCO with a guarantee that RPCs properly cleaned and disinfected with Diversey agents will have residue levels of all microorganisms, toxic substances, and other impurities compliant with maximum levels established by regulations in the country of operation.

Additionally, the use of RPCs properly cleaned and disinfected with Diversey agents will not result in microbial contamination or the transfer of toxic substances or other impurities (e.g. pesticide residues) from the IFCO containers to the products they contain.

The guarantee covers the following:

  • Food born pathogenic germs and toxin producing micro-organism
  • Lysteria monocytogeneses
  • Salmonella
  • Eschericia coli serotypes (STEC, EHEC

0104:H4, O157:H7, 0111:H2)

  • Campylobaceter jejuni
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Influenza A virus type H5N1 “bird flu”
  • Peppino mosaic virus
  • Peppino mosaic potexvirus
  • Sigatoka Negra (Mycosphaerella fijiensis)
  • Molds
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and their degradation products
  • Compounds belonging to different chemical families (triazines, organophosphorous, carbamates, phenylureas, neonicotinoids, etc.

IFCO’s Green Wrap Ensures Chain of Custody

A few years ago there were reports received about dusty and dirty RPCs. In the course of undertaking a root cause analysis, IFCO’s VP - Operations Andre Luecht said he discovered that RPCs are sometimes stored in consignment warehouses, and distributed in partial pallet quantities. Bottom line, there were issues in maintaining the quality of RPCs when they were being stored and redistributed in smaller quantities. “While there is nothing wrong with that,” Luecht states, “it is important to maintain sanitary conditions.”

The green wrapped RPCs make it easier to determine if any quality issues are a result of RPC handling and storage subsequent to issue from an IFCO service center. It became a chain of custody seal according to Luecht. As a result, IFCO is able to delineate what came directly from us, and what does not come from us.

To learn more about RPCs and Food Safety, download this PDF featuring 5 things you need to know!

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