FDA Pallet Regulations: What You Need to Know

Pallets are used to ship goods all over the world, but most people don’t pay attention to them. When you take a closer look at all the different pallets, from those at Costco, to those storing goods in warehouses or used for shipping in a semi, you might wonder if the different colors and types have a purpose. Even more, does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have pallet regulations?

In fact, they do, and the purpose is to keep the food supply safe for consumers.

FDA Pallet Regulations

FDA Pallet Regulations say that pallets must be made using specific materials that have been pre-approved for single or multi-use food contact surfaces, Title 21 CFR 117.1630.

The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act is an effort to protect food products on their journey from farm to table by keeping them safe from contamination during transportation. With their Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food, pallet suppliers are required to make sure that pallets are designed with maintenance in mind, making them easy to clean and sanitize to preventing food from becoming contaminated during transportation.

What is an FDA Pallet?

An FDA pallet is usually blue, although they can also come in black, gray, red, green, yellow and beige, and must be made using virgin plastic resin. No recycled plastic can be used due to the possibility of contaminating the food chain with unknown chemicals or solvents. These pallets are used to ship food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Failure to follow FDA regulations can result in hefty fines.

Blue Pallets v. Other Colors

No one seems to know why the majority of FDA pallets are blue, but there are a few theories floating around. The blue color makes them recognizable as FDA pallets as the FDA logo is blue, and blue is often synonymous with clean or pure.

Blue pallets must be made with virgin blue plastic pellets. This is because recycled pellets are a typically a mixture of colors as a result of the recycling process, and when melted together, the final product often becomes gray or black. More coloring is sometimes added during the manufacturing process to even out the final color.

Also, virgin resin can be traced to its source and is naturally clean and free of contaminants, while its recycled counterpart has an unknown history and could have served thousands of different purposes, some of them holding products that are hazardous to the food supply and could be released during direct contact.

Find Out How We Can Help You

At Plastic Pallet Pros, we are your source for FDA pallets. Give us a call and let us know your requirements. We will quickly put together a proposal for you. Our team is focused on developing excellent solutions for our customers seeking the right product to meet their specific needs.

We are ISO 9000 Certified as required by the FDA for manufacturing pallets that will come in direct contact with food.