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TYLENOL Recall Confirms Congress, FDA Must Regulate Wood Pallets to Prevent Threats to U.S. Food, Drug Supply
Date:12/31/2009

is also released into the air when it off-gases from pallets in storage and transportation compartments, posing a risk to the health of workers and consumers.

Wood pallets pose other dangerous risks to food safety. Wood pallets are susceptible to insect infestation and require heat treatment or fumigation before they can be moved cross-border. Fumigation is often performed with methyl bromide, a highly toxic, ozone-depleting chemical. Rusty nails and wood shards that can penetrate food packaging are also a risk.

Recent tests commissioned by iGPS have found Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and extremely high bacteria counts on scores of wood pallets pulled at random from pallet depots in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Portland, ME. Listeriosis is responsible for approximately 2,500 illnesses and 500 deaths in the United States annually and is the leading cause of death among food borne bacterial pathogens, with fatality rates exceeding even Salmonella and Clostridium Botulinum.

The iGPS test results are consistent with similar findings by USDA and FDA. A new USDA study found salmonella-causing bacteria can be harbored on wooden shelving carts used for transporting eggs into processing plants. The FDA has also drawn attention to the health risks that wood pallets present. According to the FDA's Guidance for Industry: Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Refrigerated or Frozen Ready-To-Eat Foods<
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SOURCE iGPS
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