Safely Package & Ship Food Using Corrugated Boxes

Food safety is a top priority for households across the United States, and for good reason.

But, what some people might not consider is the impact packaging could have on our food.

Choosing the right packaging for stored food can help avoid harmful bacteria and pathogens from spreading onto perishable products throughout the packaging and shipping process.

Unlike other materials, corrugated food boxes and containers offer a variety of benefits in terms of food safety and spoilage. And the use of corrugated boxes reduces your overall environmental impact.

Corrugated Packaging & Materials for Food Safety

Compared to a century ago — or even a few decades ago — food production has changed drastically.

The process has become cleaner and safer for consumers and manufacturers than ever before.

Foodborne Pathogens in Packaging

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are five major foodborne pathogens, nicknamed the Big Five.

The major pathogens include Norovirus, Hepatitis A virus, salmonella, Shigella, and Escherichia coli (E. coli).

When transmitted through contaminated food, the pathogens could lead to an illness like calicivirus and food poisoning. In some situations, death can occur.  

Other pathogens can include clostridium botulinum (botulism), Listeria, and Vibrio.

The CDC has estimated that 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, which 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

There are a few issues which can lead to foodborne pathogen to developing.

Parasites, bacteria, harmful toxins, and chemicals can contaminate food, leading to foodborne pathogens.

If a foodborne pathogen is present during the initial packaging and shipping stages, the pathogen will multiply and get out of hand rather quickly.  

Ideally, the best way for a company to prevent foodborne pathogens from reaching consumers is to ensure the product(s) are safe prior to shipping.

Bacteria and pathogens can live in almost any situation, but especially in the often hot and humid environments of shipping facilities and warehouses.

For the companies that sold and recalled contaminated food, a bacterial outbreak could mean a loss consumer trust or irreparable damage to the brand. And potentially expensive lawsuits.

Multi-use packages, or plastic containers can act as a breeding ground for bacteria, making corrugated packaging safer.

How Corrugated Boxes Prevent the Spread of Foodborne Pathogens

Fresh produce, meat, and fish are perishable food items that can travel a long distance before making its way to your refrigerator. These foods need to withstand temperature fluctuations and moisture while in transit.

To prevent foodborne pathogens from reaching consumers means utilizing packaging materials that impede the growth of bacteria and other pathogens, thereby creating as safer environment for the shipping process.

Corrugated food-grade containers are highly effective at preventing foodborne pathogens from entering the food chain and shipping a safer product for consumers.

Corrugated packaging has the ability to trap microorganisms, pulling them away from fruits, vegetables, and other food items.

This is made possible because of the very nature of the corrugation process. Materials are exposed to temperatures higher than 180 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing the paper to bond with the corrugated cardboard.

Most bacteria cannot survive these extreme temperatures.

If any bacteria should happen to survive become trapped inside the corrugated fibers, where they are unable to find food and water to survive and multiply.

Shippers can feel confident that their food-grade packaging is safe and ready for transport.

Reduce Waste & Spoilage

The packaging that is used in transporting food also has a dramatic effect on the freshness of the food itself.

Much like defending against bacteria, corrugated materials offer the best possible shipping experience for both food producers and consumers.

Scientists at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy, have found significant biological differences between the quality of produce shipped in plastic containers compared to corrugated food packaging.

The study also found that corrugated boxes can keep fruits and vegetables fresher for up to three days longer when compared to other packaging materials.

Risking product and the health of consumers is simply out of the question. Avoid the risks of shipping products in unclean packaging or dealing with excessive spoilage.

The Box Guy specializes in a variety of corrugated shipping boxes and insulated ice packs and shippers to protect your perishable products.

If you’re ready to learn more about how our corrugated materials can protect your produce and other products for you and your customers alike, contact us today.