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Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak Linked To Wood Pallets

 Using sanitary production and handling practices in the food industry should be standard operating procedure; but some members of the food industry members are still using primitive equipment that is ill-suited for the application.

Problems related to unsanitary food handling conditions aren’t just a matter of best practices; it has an impact on public health.

Blue Bell Creameries Listeria Outbreak

Listeria Bacteria

This year, three deaths in Kansas and many more illnesses were linked to Blue Bell Creameries products.

Inadequate cleaning and handling practices, including the use of filthy, porous wood pallets allowed Listeria bacteria to pass into the Blue Bell Creameries products that were later distributed and sold to consumers.

Looking for the whole scoop? Read the AP Press full length article on the Blue Bell Creameries Listeria outbreak here.

And the Blue Bell Creameries Outbreak isn’t the only time Listeriosis has taken lines. In 2011, listeria bacteria in cantaloupes was linked to 30 deaths in the United States.

How Do Wood Pallets Spread Contaminants?

Pallets made from wood can be less expensive, but present many challenges to upholding sanitary food handling practices.

Unfortunately, wood pallets spread contaminants and pathogens because they are designed to harbor nastiness:

  1. Wood pallets are naturally porous and absorbent
  2. Wood pallets are difficult to clean
  3. Wood pallets splinter, causing cuts, scrapes, and punctures to the bodies of materials handling professionals, increasing the likelihood for the spread of bodily fluids and blood borne pathogens.

What You Need To Know About Listeria Bacteria

* Listeria bacteria occurs naturally in water and soil; so safeguard your operations.

* Listeriosis, the infection caused by Listeria, can be deadly; don’t take it lightly.

* Common sources of listeria are deli meats, meat spreads, unpasteurized dairy, and raw sprouts.

* At-risk groups: The elderly, pregnant women, organ transplant recipients taking anti-rejection drugs, and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Preventing Pathogens From Contaminating Food Products.

Listeria Outbreaks Are Serious. How can the food industry prevent Listeria contamination and outbreaks?

Clean Up Your Act!

Clean and be clean. Unsafe and unsanitary material handling equipment and practices can lead to illness and death. And for the materials handling professionals out there, we have one very specific recommendation.

Stop Using Unsanitary Wood Pallets

Plastic pallets are the ideal choice for the food industry; some models are even approved by the FDA. One Way solutions carries many different FDA approved pallets, perfect for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries.

What is more costly? Investing in plastic pallets – or:

* losing consumer trust in your brand

* paying for product recalls

* taking human lives

To learn more or receive a competitive quotation, please visit the FDA plastic pallet category on our website here.

Do It Right – Jeni’s Ice Cream Listeria Scare

Follow Your Food Testing Protocols!

Follow your listeria testing protocols and monitoring/testing intervals closely to make sure you are in compliance. Jeni’s Ice Cream’s testing habits detected the presence of listeria in its products before the ice cream was served to consumers.

Be Honest!

Although Jeni’s Ice Cream found listeria in its products twice in 2015, it quickly and clearly communicated with the press and online audience to discuss the steps it was taking to resolve the issue.

Jen’s CEO John Lowe penned a personal letter describing their dedication to the quality of their ice cream and the safety of their customers.

“While we would most certainly prefer that Listeria never enter our facility, we do take solace in the fact that our protocols and testing have worked” – Jeni’s CEO John Lowe

Jeni’s Ice Cream apologized further for closing their ice cream shops; but good news was soon to follow – the stores reopened just in time for the warmer months of summer.

All right palletizers!

Thanks for reading my article. Please leave your comments and let me know how you keep your operations clean and safe.

– Robin

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Preparing Your Warehouse For The Holiday Season

If you haven’t look at your calendar in a while, then you may be surprised to hear that it is, in fact, November.

That’s right, we’re officially in the home stretch leading up to the holiday shopping season. There may even be a few early bird shoppers who are already checking names off of their lists.

So if you still haven’t begun preparing your warehouse for this annual rush, you’re really pushing it. Fact is, you should have started yesterday. Continue reading

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

One Way Solutions Newsletter – Oct. 2014

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About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

Three Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Warehouse Employees

Have you ever looked around your warehouse and thought “Am I getting the most out of my employees?”

If not, then you should.

Your team is your more important asset (well, that and stackable pallets), and the success and efficiency of your warehouse will only go as far as they’re able to take it.

With that in mind, taking some steps to get more out of your employees could make a huge difference. Continue reading

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

One Way Solutions Newsletter – September 2014

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About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

Earthquake Preparedness In Your Warehouse

If you live, work, or spend a significant amount of time in a region that’s on top of or near a fault line, you’ve probably witnessed firsthand the kind of damage that earthquakes can do.

Just last month, a 6.0 quake hit Napa, California, injuring hundreds and causing millions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses.  The region’s famous wineries were hit particularly hard, with estimated damages jumping up to over $80 million.

For businesses with warehouses in quake-susceptible regions, preparing for an earthquake isn’t just a good way to prevent losses; it can also save the lives of your employees or customers. Continue reading

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

One Way Solutions Newsletter – August 2014

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Cheapest Solid Deck Pallet Ever!

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About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

A World Without Pallets

While watching HBO’s The Leftovers this past Sunday, I started thinking of what would affect me significantly if it one day just poofed and disappeared.

The answer was simple. The answer was pallets. And even though the answer was simple, the implications of how pallets would affect the world if they just vanished wouldn’t be.

Grant it, it wouldn’t be enough to fill an HBO drama (True Pallet Detective, anyone?), but the effects would be sprawling nonetheless. Continue reading

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

One Way Solutions Newsletter – June 2014

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On July 1st, there is a scheduled price increase for several models, including these popular items below


Nestable Light Duty Pallet
PP-O-40-NL2.5

The best nestable pallet for the money available today. Weighs only 17 lbs and is rated to hold 2,500 lbs. In stock and ready to ship. Pricing will increase by as much as 8% on July 1st. Order now to lock in current pricing!

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About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

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