The Best Food Grade Pallets to Go from Plant to Plate

The food industry—and grocery stores in particular—use the most pallets out of any other market. Food grade pallets, however, have...

pallets holding apples and produce

The food industry—and grocery stores in particular—use the most pallets out of any other market. Food grade pallets, however, have different requirements that are typically much stricter than an average pallet. The reason for this is that food manufacturing plants operate in an environment that is almost scientifically sterile, which is paramount for consumer safety. Therefore, the pallets that come into contact with food and food packaging must meet very specific requirements.

For example, food grade wood pallets typically require a pest control certificate from the manufacturer. It is also typical that they are heat treated and stamped to insure all insects and larva will be killed off. Heat treatment involves heating pallets to a core temperature of 140°F for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Rose Pallet has several clients in the food and beverage industry. Recently, our vice president visited the operations for a leading manufacturer of protein powder drinks. She was able to assess how pallets perform within their supply chain and make cost-saving recommendations for the client’s pallet program.

Going on site to our client’s plants or other facilities enables us to better understand challenges within unique environments. And it is especially helpful in food and beverage, where pallet requirements are very specific.

amy in food plant

The GMA pallet, in particular, is distinct to the industry. It was designed by the Grocery Manufacturer Association (GMA) almost 60 years ago in an effort to standardize the size of pallets and reduce the time and expense associated with shipment and storage. The result is a 48 x 40 four-way pallet with deck boards of 40 inches and stringers of 48 inches. Today, GMA pallets account for an estimated 30% of the pallet marketplace.

A few notable design features include lead boards on each end that are wider than standard pallets; a minimum load-bearing capacity of 2,500 pounds; and four-way forklift entry with two notches on the side. Recycled GMA pallets are also available in grade A or B.

If you’re in the market for food grade pallets, look no further. Rose Pallet offers GMA and other specialty options. Let us know your requirements and we can help you determine which pallet is right for you. Contact us today!

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