Monthly Archives: March 2016

Grain Silos: What Are They and How Do They Work?

If you eat a bowl of cereal or piece of toast for breakfast, you are eating food made from grains. And, if you’re curious, you might have wondered how these grains made it to your table. Well, they originated from farms all across the world. Each year, farmers harvest millions of tons of grain and some of the grains are sold to food processors while others are stored for future use in grain silos. When buying our selling silo storage, it’s important to understand what silos are and what they do. How do grain silos work? Let’s take a look.

 

Overview

Grain silos are simply large structures used to store grain to be sold or used at a future date. But, grain isn’t the only thing that can be stored in grain silos. Materials other than grain, like coal, can also be stored in them. The material stored inside silos is called silage. Understanding how grain silos work depends on the kind you’re using. Different types of silos include: tower silos, horizontal bunker silos, and horizontal trench silos.

Tower silos are made from a variety of materials including wood and concrete and many different types are available. The cost varies depending on the material and height needed. One type of tower silo is the concrete stave silo. These silos consist of layers of concrete blocks that are layered together in circles and stacked on top of each other. Since grain from the upper layers exert a great deal of pressure, additional thinner layers are needed at the bottom of the silo.

Storing food products such as grain always introduces concerns about food spoilage due to exposure to moisture. As a result, another type of grain elevator was developed called the low-oxygen silo. These silos are designed to keep constant pressure and air flow. However, due to its costly repairs and overall expense, these silos are not used as often.

Besides vertical silos that dot the farm landscapes throughout the US, other types include horizontal bunker and trench silos. These farm silos, usually much cheaper, consist of walls that can be filled with material. The difference between bunker and trench silos is that bunker silos are built above ground, while trench silos are below ground.

 

Loading

Two of the most popular methods of loading grain into silos involves using augers or grain legs.

Using augers to load grain is usually cheaper to implement, but it is difficult and hazardous to operate. An auger is a large tube of metal that is usually attached to a tractor. Once positioned over the top of a silo, you position a truck over the auger’s opening. The truck pours the grain which then moves up the auger and into the silo.

Augers are difficult to use because you have to position the end of it so that it is over the top of the silo. However, positioning a heavy piece of inclined metal is cumbersome. In addition, augers can be very unsafe and have been known to kill or maim farmers. Keep in mind that augers are rotating equipment. This creates a major safety hazard when operating near the equipment.

A much safer (but more expensive) way to load a grain is via bucket loaders or grain legs. These loaders operate by pulling grain up a vertical elevator via buckets. Once the bucket reaches the top, it dumps the grain down a tube leading to an opening. Since the position of the tube is fixed, there is no need to move heavy objects to achieve the desired position, which enhances safety. Multiple legs can be installed to go to different silos. These installations are more expensive because of the sophisticated electronic controls and design involved.

 

Unloading

Once silos are loaded, they eventually need to be emptied. Openings are present near the bottom layers of silos and they can be unloaded using augers.. The auger is installed near the opening and when that position is opened, gravity causes some of the grain to be forced out which gets pulled by the auger into a separate storage facility or vehicle.

 

Other Considerations

Since silos can be made of different materials, they are susceptible to environmental effects. In order to preserve grain, farmers must take care not to have too much moisture seep into the grain. Adding sealant to metal silos is one way to help reduce moisture. Even though sealant is usually not applied to concrete structures, moisture can still get in, so it may be a good idea to consider it.

In addition, metal silos are susceptible to rusting. How do grain silos work when this happens? The structural integrity is at stake because the metal can no longer handle as much grain capacity as is required of it. In some cases, silos can collapse, leading to major losses. It’s very important to stick to routine maintenance.

 

Conclusion

Most of the staples in our diet come from grains. Often these grains are harvested with the surplus stored in silos. Silos are one link in the long chain of how food gets from the farm to your table!

 

Picking Pallets: Wood v. Plastic

Millions of items, from your favorite snacks to electronic gadgets, made their way to American homes via numerous shipping and distribution channels. The factories which created these goods produce the items and ship them via containers. When businesses ship items in bulk, they either use wood or plastic pallets. But, which one is best? Let’s take a look at both options to help you make that decision.

 

 

Wood Pallets: Pros

 
Using wood pallets carries many advantages during shipping. First, when selecting a pallet type, you need to consider the destination of your shipment. If you plan to ship goods internationally, you cannot expect your pallet to come back. Since plastic pallets are much more expensive, it is better to use wood pallets in this situation.
 
Wooden pallets can also withstand more weight. Experts recommend using wood pallets if you ship items with a weight between 1500 and 3000 lbs.. Since more weight is allowed, you can ship more items thus reducing the shipping costs per item.
 
Furthermore, if a wooden pallet gets damaged, it is much easier to repair than plastic pallets. If a plastic pallet gets damaged, there is no simple way to repair plastic. You just have to take the loss and recycle it. On the other hand, wood pallets are much easier to repair. Tools such as dismantling bars are designed to help remove interior boards for replacement within wooden pallets.

 

 

Wood Pallets: Cons

 
Although wood pallets offer an inexpensive alternative for shipping goods in bulk, there are also drawbacks when using them to ship goods. Since wood is an organic material, it is susceptible to the forces of nature.
 
Since wood is gathered from forests around the world, the wood used in pallets may contain traces of insect larvae, bacteria, and diseases. The larvae can hatch and the resulting insects can make their way into your shipment. As result, if you ship goods overseas, you may need to treat the wood to prevent infestation, which will increase shipping costs. Before deciding on wood pallets, examine shipping regulations of your destination country to see if treatment is necessary.
 
In addition to holding potentially harmful agents, wood can absorb moisture very well. Consequently, wooden pallets could be a breeding ground for mold, which can spread to your goods. Your shipment could get ruined, especially if you ship food products.
 
Another disadvantage to using wood pallets is that the material is rough on shipments. Since wood is a coarse material, it contains splinters that could damage fragile goods. Fasteners, also present, can damage goods as well.

 

 

Plastic Pallets: Pros

 
There are advantages to using plastic pallets, too. Although plastic pallets aren’t easily repairable, they are made from 100% recyclable and reusable material. In some cases, you will be able to use the plastic pallet for another shipment. For example, if you are in the pharmaceutical or dairy industry, you can request your plastic pallet to be returned. Since plastic pallets have a lifespan of 10 years, you could keep reusing these pallets and thereby reduce shipping costs.
 
Since wood is a fragile material, wooden pallets are easily damaged. As a result, you may need to keep reordering wooden pallets for shipment. Even though plastic pallets are more expensive, their reusability could help you save in the long run.
 
Also, unlike wood, plastic is not an organic material. Because of this, plastic pallets are much less likely to harbor harmful bacteria or insects. In addition, these pallets can easily be washed and disinfected of bacterial agents to make goods ready for shipment.

 

 

Plastic Pallets: Cons

 
Although plastic pallets have excellent properties, there are also some disadvantages to using them. One main disadvantage is the high cost of plastic pallets. Since they cost much more than wooden pallets, there is a high initial investment required to purchase one. Also, since plastic pallets can only handle a lighter load, the cost issue is exacerbated.
 
In addition, if a plastic pallet gets damaged, it cannot easily get repaired. It must be recycled. You could potentially lose your investment in a single shipment and not get the benefit of durability.
 
Another disadvantage is the lack of friction. Unlike wood, plastic will have less friction, which might make the pallets harder to handle on certain equipment.

 

 

Conclusion

 
If your business is trying to decide whether or not to use wooden or plastic pallets, then consider the pros and cons of each and consider factors such as your industry, initial investment available, or shipment destination. Examining each of these will help you and your goods arrive at their respective destinations.
 

The 7 Main Plastics

Plastics are everywhere! Anytime you open up a coke bottle or your favorite snack, you are using packaging made from plastic. Even the car you drive contains plastics. Plastic is preferred over many other alternatives because it is sustainable, lightweight, and shatter-proof. These properties make the everyday goods you use cheaper and more versatile. Although all plastics seem to look the same, there are actually 7 main types. Let’s take a look at each of these!

 

PETE

PETE or polyethylene terephthalate is a common plastic used in a variety of applications, including the  food and beverage industry. The material was invented by John Whinfield and James Dickson of Calico Printers in 1941.

In order to remain tasty, soft drinks need to retain their carbonated flavor (or fizz) for as long as possible. Since PETE is impermeable to both gases and moisture, this material is used for all the soft drink bottles.

Besides soft drink bottles, PETE can be found in medicine packaging as well. You might have noticed that many over-the-counter medicines often come in plastic packaging with an aluminum layer underneath. These are blister-packs made of PETE.

Since PETE also has a high melting temperature, it can be used in food trays that need to be heated. In addition to food packaging, other materials, such as clothing and flooring, are also made from PETE in the form of polyester.

 

HDPE

HDPE, or high-density polyethylene, is used in a variety of applications. It is called “high-density” because the plastic has a high-density to strength ratio. Unlike PETE, HDPE cannot be used to hold soft drinks because it lacks a barrier to prevent gases from escaping. Instead, HDPE is used to create bottles in blow-molded form to hold drinks such as milk and orange juice. The plastic is also used to package foods such as cereals and other snacks. Since HDPE is not susceptible to chemical reactions, items such as soap detergents and bleach are stored in bottles made from HDPE.

 

PVC

If you have gone to construction sites or examined your sprinkler system, you may have seen thick  white piping. This is another form of plastic called Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. Because of its hardness, PVC is used in numerous applications ranging from plumbing to healthcare.

Its ability to prevent penetration by bacteria and chemical agents make it an ideal and less costly solution for transporting water. Its fire resistance also enables it to be used in electrical cables. Unfortunately, a fire will cause HCl gas to be emitted, making this cable hazard to use in common areas. Other applications include catheters and blood-collection containers in the medical field.

 

LDPE

Low-density polyethylene was created in 1933 by Imperial Chemical Industries. Unlike HDPE, its strength is lower and is most commonly seen in thin film form. LDPE is used to make thin plastics including grocery bags, as well as thin containers for keeping bread and fruits. Since it is not as hard as HDPE, LDPE is ideal for packaging that requires high flexibility such as squeeze bottles. This is why bottles for items such as shampoo and lotion are made from LDPE. This plastic is also used in juice and milk cartons to enhance water resistance.

 

PP

First created in 1951 by Philips Petroleum scientists, Polypropylene (PP) is a plastic with a high heat tolerance. Since it has a high melting point, plastic bottles made from this material can hold hot liquids without getting deformed. Its heat and resistance to chemical absorption make it an ideal application for containers used in laboratory equipment. This also makes it ideal for food containers that get put in the dishwasher. The plastic is also known to be tough and shatter-proof which makes it ideal for use in bottle caps. Besides containers for food, PP is also used in materials for carpets and rope.

 

PS

Found in 1839 by Eduard Simon, polystyrene (PS) is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. It has excellent properties such as a low melting point that allows it to be shaped relatively easily. PS exists as tough plastic sheets and foam. As a result, polystyrene enjoys a variety of applications including foam cups, plastic eating utensils, plastic CD cases, and yogurt containers.

Since it is widely used, plastics with PS tend to fill landfills and oceans. It has generated a lot of controversy and some cities have banned its use in certain applications.

 

Others

In addition to the plastics mentioned, other forms of plastics exist, like Nylon and PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate). Nylon is commonly used for clothing while PMMA is a shatter-resistant alternative to glass.

 

Conclusion

Plastics are one of the most widely used materials in the world. They are used in a variety of applications including food and liquid containers, packaging, and clothing. Plastics do indeed make the world go round!

 

Are Metal or Plastic Drums Better?

As you walk around your office or travel on the road, you may have noticed 55-gallon plastic drums that are either black or blue in color. Some of the drums are made of plastic while others are made from metals such as steel.

Usually, these drums are used for storage and shipment of toxic and dry materials. If your company ships liquids, flammable materials, or toxic materials, using drums is an excellent choice. But, you may be wondering, which type is better? Well, let’s take a look at some details and figure it out.

 

Price

One factor when comparing plastic to metal drums is to consider price. Buying new metal drums will set you back nearly $100 while a plastic drum of the same size is nearly half the price. If you are using drums for shipment, provided that regulations are met correctly, you should consider choosing plastic drums since the cost savings will be significant. Even for your own projects, consider what you need and pick the least expensive option that will meet your needs. Also, consider buying used drums to save money. In terms of price, plastic is the clear winner.

 

Weight

Another important factor to consider, especially when shipping or storage is involved, is weight. Plastic drums, on average, weigh nearly half as much as a steel drum. You need to combine the drum’s weight with the weight of the item stored per gallon in order to determine the total load. With large quantities, given that other regulations are met, the cost of the container can make a huge difference. In addition, if you plan to store liquids on a structure designed for a certain load, the type of drum you use will be the deciding variable to reduce the overall weight. In terms of weight, plastic is again a clear winner.

 

Temperature

In school, you probably learned that metal tends to dissipate heat more quickly than materials such as plastic and ceramic. If you want to store heated water long-term and maintain the temperature, you might think that plastic drums are a better option. On the contrary, a study by Small Farm Magazine showed that there was no advantage to using either. In this case, neither plastic nor steel prove advantageous.

 

Food/Liquid Storage

If you have ever stored liquids such as juice or even food products such as fish, you may have noticed that plastic containers tend to keep the smell and flavor of whatever was stored. If you decide to store something else, the previous flavor could leak into the new item stored. Even though this is a serious drawback of plastic, using steel is not an option because water and other liquids contain traces of chlorine and oxygen molecules which will cause steel to corrode and mix with the liquid.

In terms of storing liquids such as water, plastic drums are a better choice. However, try using new drums to prevent your stored items from acquiring an unusual flavor. You can also try thoroughly washing the plastic containers to get rid of harmful bacteria and make them more suitable for storage of liquids and dry foods.

 

Toxic Substances

When shipping toxic chemicals, companies store them in metal drums because they tend to be non-reactive and are stronger. Also, some regulations mandate that these chemicals be stored in steel drums. Living in a remote area, especially a long distance away from gas stations, may require you to store several months of fuel. If you plan to store fuel or another harmful substance, then steel drums are the best choice.

 

Alternatives

Of course, plastic and metal drums don’t have to be all work. Apart from their industrial uses, many people have used their creativity to make some unique items out of both metal and plastic drums. Since metal drums are stronger and can withstand heat, people have used them to make furniture and barbecue pits. Those interested in gardening, have turned both types of drums into hydroponics bays and pots to plant vegetables or flowers. People with dogs have even turned steel drums into dog houses.

 

Conclusion

Plastic and steel drums are everywhere and used by numerous industries to ship and store goods. You may be thinking of buying one and wonder, which type is better? There is no definite answer because it depends on what items are stored and your budget. Take these into account to decide what to use.

The History of Pallets

Chances are, like most people, you’ve bought many different things from many different stores. When you go to stores, especially warehouse stores, you may have noticed wooden pallets filled with your favorite items. Ever wonder how these pallets came about? If so, then you’re in luck. Let’s take a look at its history.

 

Predecessor

In order for a pallet system to work properly, it must be able to transport goods safely and efficiently. To get to this stage, appropriate transport vehicles must be developed. Decades after the Industrial Revolution began, factories started to mass-produce goods, which resulted in increased demand for efficient transportation methods.

In the late 1800s, low-lift trucks began to be used to transport the modern pallet’s ancient ancestor, the wooden skid. The low-lift trucks, unlike modern fork-lifts, could not lift loads very high. At best it could only lift the load a few inches off the ground. Also, the lifting and positioning of the skid could only be done manually. Eventually, as trucks became more advanced and newer models were introduced, pallet design started to improve with the newer models.

 

Early 1900s

In the 1900s, the trucks began to be made of entirely of steel to enhance strength and handle tougher loads. Next came trucks that could lift much higher. As a result, not only could pallets be moved within the warehouse, they could also be stacked on top of each other at greater heights.

As a result of advances in lifting technology, pallet design started to change. Eventually, spaces were added at the bottom to allow forks to be inserted and lift goods. Boards were then added resulting in the modern pallet.

In the 1920s, pallets started to get shipped via rail.

 

World War 2

World War 2 was a pivotal moment in the history of pallets. As a result of the Great Depression and lack of investment capital and demand, there was no incentive to invest in advanced techniques for material handling.

However, WW2 changed this. Initially, the military used manual methods to transport goods. Even after the military began to mobilize and ramp up the war effort, pallets were not used much.  Since powered equipment was not used initially, it became difficult for the military to store equipment for longer periods of time and get supplies out to the troops.

To improve efficiency, the military conducted studies of industrial plants that utilized efficient material handling methods. Their experts observed that facilities using fork-lifts and pallets were the most efficient and had greater capacity.

As a result, the military started to buy more fork-lifts and pallets. However, not enough fork-lifts could be produced. This led to some factories being converted to produce fork-lifts and use of overseas locations to manufacture them.

In addition to furthering the development of fork-lifts, the war also standardized pallet sizes. The standard size of 48×48 inches was set for pallets. Numerous measurements of boxes and goods used by the military was done to determine this figure. Soon, all allied countries started adhering to this standard.

 

Post-War

As pallets and fork-lifts became more widely used, many warehouse functions started to get automated.  This led to many disputes with unions for longshoremen and teamsters since a lot of the manual jobs were starting to disappear. For example, jobs requiring workers to manually load pallets onto trucks were eliminated. As a result, unions were demanding some lost pay.

Besides increased automation, fork-lifts and pallets started to become more commonplace and heavily used. One major development occurred when the British company, Lansing Bagnall, made fork-lifts  narrower, which led to smaller isles and more storage capacity at warehouses.

Later, in the 1960s, Canadian grocers met and made the standard pallet size 48”x40” which became known as the GPMC pallet. Later on, in 1977, the Canadian Pallet Council was established to create standards and provide services.

 

Today

Nowadays, the pallet designs from the post-war period are still being used. In addition to wooden pallets, pallets can now be made from plastic and aluminum. Even though materials such as plastics are lightweight, wooden pallets are still being used because of their distinct advantages. Unlike plastic pallets, wooden pallets can withstand a heavier load (up to 3000 lbs).

Another modern trend is to use pallets in different ways. Since millions of used pallets are available for sale, many people have started to reuse pallets in creative ways, like creating furniture out of them.

 

Conclusion

Pallets and fork-lift technology have come a long way since the late 1800s. In the past, manual methods were used to load goods for shipment. As demand increased, further advances in technology were required and changes in fork-lift design in parallel with pallet design have led to the current wooden pallet.

Wood Pallets and How They Affect Your Health

Wood Pallets and

How They Affect Your Health

Over the course of the past few decades, consumers around the globe have become more conscientious of the health risks associated with food and drugs. Popular restaurants have seen E.coli outbreaks, and the warnings associated with prescription and over the counter drugs have intensified.

Many seek to find the root of why our products today are at risk. Many Americans believe that the Food and Drug Administration can protect us from contamination. However, with the advent of new companies and new ways of storing products, and with logistical companies being pressured to provide quicker and more efficient service, the FDA cannot provide 100% protection against contamination.
A reason as to why this risk exists is the way in which food and drugs are stored and transported.

The use of wood pallets in this process plays a key role in whether or not contaminated products may reach the shelves of your local retailor. Many enterprises today seek viable alternatives to this traditional means of storage and transportation in order to have better peace of mind that their products will not become contaminated.
You need to understand the risks and benefits of using wooden pallets, as well as the risks and benefits of non-wooden pallets, in order to make an informed decision as to what type of transport system you should use for your products.

Why Wood??

Wooden pallets have been used in a variety of industries for a century. Many shippers still consider them a very inexpensive way to organize, store, and deliver goods.

Wooden pallets are also very robust and durable. They can be used and reused literally for decades if they are maintained properly. Wooden pallets can also be easily recycled, repurposed, and reused.

Concerns

Given the constant use and reuse of wooden pallets over an extended period of time, and the different types of products stored on the pallets, certain contamination dangers become obvious.

Many wooden pallets have absorptive properties. As the pallet is continuously repurposed, this exposes the wood to a very diverse assortment of germs and bacteria. These contaminants can be absorbed and potentially passed on to the next product stored on the pallet.

Why Is This Important?

As the world changed, we saw an influx of mass-production for our most vital resources. What you eat, and the drugs you take, are both ingested into the body. If during their production they were stored in a facility that left them vulnerable to contamination, then the consumer is also vulnerable.

Wooden pallets can pose risks that jeopardize the health of those using the products it stored. To put this in perspective, a wooden pallet used at an agricultural warehouse to hold raw meat and hides, could one day be repurposed to the warehouse that supplies your local pharmacy. There are any number of real world examples that illustrate this, and typically the larger the firm, the less oversight there is when it comes to storage practices.

Sanitizing

Concerns about bacteria, germs, and other contaminants are further exacerbated by this diverse use over the years and the lack of proper sanitation techniques between repurposing. It is also really difficult to clean wood.

Due to the number of wooden pallets constantly being repurposed and put back into immediate service, it is very easy to overlook the necessity of using proper sanitation techniques, especially for pallets used in facilities that store food and drugs.

Wooden Pallet Health
Hazards Studies

There are any number of different bacteria that can be absorbed into the wooden structure of the pallet. Different studies have produced slightly different results, but the general figures tend to agree among all the reports.

An excellent example of a carefully conducted study was done in New Orleans. The study found that 43% of all wood pallets tested in a representative warehouse in the city were contaminated with bacteria. Of that number, multiple pallets had over 1,000,000 grams of bacteria per unit. This is a very high level and guarantees cross contamination.

Types of Contamination
and the Effects

Consumers were affected by this contamination. One of the most common complaints was gastrointestinal issues. However, there have been reports of more serious illnesses associated with companies that store products in a way akin to that of Tylenol’s company. Salmonella, E. coli, and listeria are some of the more serious strains that have been harbored within wooden pallets. These are potentially life threatening after contact.

Improper Sanitation
Methods

Even attempts to sanitize these pallets have backfired. Frequently, to ease the worries of consumers, firms will claim to use cleaning agents to kill bacteria. However, many of the agents being used contain harmful pesticides that also can have serious ramifications for the health of the consumer.

The agent used, to supposedly sanitize the wood pallets that led to the recall of Tylenol, was the same cleaning agent used that caused a recall of Lipitor a year later. This strain was known as 2,4,6-Tribromoanisole (or TBA). TBA is easily identified due to its strong odor and can be, if used incorrectly, potentially fatal. While TBA is not permitted for sanitary use in the United States, other countries do not have these restrictions. The use of TBA to sanitize wooden pallets has been linked to a number of international shipments, most notably from South America.

Storage and Other
Problems

While some attempts to sanitize wood pallets have backfired, of more concern in some ways is the complete lack of sanitation that is the norm rather than the exception.

Companies and firms use pallets for a variety of reasons. Pallets can carry pretty much anything that size permits, and they are designed to be easily moved via forklift and other machines. Obviously, over the course of its usage, a pallet can be exposed to any number of pollutants.

The FDA has investigated and reported that many, if not the majority, of companies store unused pallets outside. Depending on the location, this can be a major health hazard.
For example, pallets stored outside of manufacturing plants can be susceptible to acid rain, animal feces, and other problems. If these pallets are later used to store or move ingestible items like fruits and vegetables, this can be dangerous.

What Is the Alternative?

With the many concerns swirling around the usage of wooden pallets, many companies in the food and drug sectors are seeking viable alternatives to using wood. Alternatives, in this case, are not difficult to find. Pallets can be made from a variety of different materials. The two types that are considered a much better alternative than wood are those made of plastic or metal.

There is a viable solution to wooden pallets. If a company is storing food or drugs, the FDA and industry groups have conducted research and, in most instances, recommend conversion to plastic or metal pallets.

Advantages of Non-Wooden Pallets

Plastic and metal pallets offer many upsides to their wooden counterparts. For one thing, those materials crack less easily than wood. The fewer cracks in the surface material of the pallet, the fewer bacteria can be absorbed, contaminating the pallets.

Plastic and metal are less susceptible to the elements than wood is. For example, when it rains, the moisture creates the perfect environment in wood for bacteria to grow. Plastic and metal, however, easily repel water.

Easier Sanitation

Plastic and metal pallets are easier to sanitize than wooden pallets are. Wooden pallets are likely to retain chemicals from cleaning agents. The risk of this occurring is dramatically reduced by employing pallets made of alternative materials.

Plastic and metal are impervious to acids, solvents, and odors. They also can repel infestations, mildew, and mold.
Plastic pallets also allow for heat sterilization, something that cannot be done if you use wooden pallets. This greatly reduces the chances of germ or bacterial contamination.

More Durable

Metal and plastic are even more durable than wood. Wood may be easier to recycle, but metal and plastic last longer. This means less turnover and less cross contamination due to the germ-repelling properties of plastic and metal.

Weight and Climate

Plastic pallets weigh almost 30% less than the weight of wooden pallets. This makes them easier to handle and easier to stack.

Success Rates

Companies that have begun using pallets made of alternative materials have reported success in lowering their rates of contamination. For example, firms forced to recall products due to wooden pallet bacteria and germ problems, and who then transitioned to plastic, have claimed a lower contamination rate during follow-up testing.

Concluding Thoughts

The 21st century has brought about a new consumer awareness that was not previously a factor in the global marketplace. In part due to the rapid rise of technology, buyers now have the ability to find key information about their food and their medicine. The advent of the Internet and Google is making consumers more educated than ever.
For example, a person is in a pharmacy looking for a pain reliever. Upon searching for one, he or she does a quick Google search to determine which is the safest to use. At this point, she discovers that Tylenol was recalled due to the unsanitary conditions related to the use of wooden pallets.