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Trade group working on best practices for reusable food shipping containers

By: Jim Johnson

February 24, 2014

Work is starting to develop sanitation standards and guidelines for reusable plastic containers used to ship food from growers to retailers.

The Reusable Packaging Association of Arlington, Va., is establishing what the trade group calls an “industry-wide committee” to work on the standards. The group will seek input from the makers of reusable plastic containers as well as growers, shippers and retailers.

Container providers and cleaning services currently use their own sanitation and food safety methods.

But the trade group wants to create standards for best practices.

“The reusables industry already has rigorous cleaning and testing protocols that meet or exceed accepted standards, and these have proven to be highly effective. However, we want to establish common and public standards that will further increase confidence in the sanitation and food safety of RPCs,” said Paul Pederson, committee chairman and director of food safety and compliance with IFCO Systems, a provider of reusable plastic containers, in a statement.