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New Tests Confirm Wood Pallets Harbor Deadly Food Poisoning Bacteria
Date:12/16/2009

roken wood pieces that puncture packaging materials, exposing food to contamination from both the pallet and other potential sources. Food is also exposed to contamination when packaging materials are torn by rusting and protruding nails that are often contained in wood pallets.

"There are more than one billion wood pallets used in the United States, so it's critical to understand the role they play in outbreaks of food poisoning," added Moore. "We also need an effective way to track and trace wood pallets in the supply chain so that FDA and USDA can identify the source of food contamination and quickly stop the spread of food borne illnesses. For example, iGPS plastic pallets have microchips embedded in the resin that allow us to pinpoint shipments anywhere in the supply chain and provide a complete history of all goods moved on any one pallet. There is no effective way to identify individual wood pallets.

"As Congress works to strengthen food safety measures, we urge Members to examine the data and consider the role wooden shipping platforms play in food contamination," Moore added.

Testing Procedures

In the tests, iGPS collected used, in-circulation wood pallets from lobster and fishing docks in Portland, and from outdoor food markets in Philadelphia. Using proper handling and chain of custody procedures, the field-testing team gathered the samples and shipped them in refrigerated packages to Kappa Laboratories, Inc., in Miami, Florida. Kappa Laboratories is a full-service chemical and microbiology lab that has been inspected and previously recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Microbiology-#0093, Chemistry-#1282). It has been certified by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), and is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA-#1039389). Kappa Laboratories is an FDA Accepted Laboratory for Import Testing and is currently a Contract Laboratory to
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SOURCE Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS)
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