Corrugated Shipping Containers Are Clean, Study Shows


ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL | The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA) reports that testing and analysis conducted by the University of California-Davis and toxicology experts Haley & Aldrich investigating the cleanliness of corrugated shipping containers confirmed that all corrugated containers tested met acceptable sanitation levels.

“One hundred percent of the samples evaluated were below the sanitation levels of 1000 colony forming units (CFU) per swab for the organisms tested,” says Maryann Sanders, senior toxicologist, microbiologist and regulatory compliance specialist at Haley & Aldrich.

The testing was conducted on 720 swab samples taken from containers from six different corrugated manufacturers in the Northwest, California, and Florida. The corrugated container industry requested the third-party testing to confirm that corrugated containers provided for food packaging meet acceptable sanitation criteria at the point of use.

“The single-use approach for corrugated containers minimizes the potential for contamination,” says Dennis Colley, executive director of the CPA. “After they are used, corrugated containers are returned to the paper mill for recycling. The recycling process greatly reduces bacterial loading.”

Nearly 90 percent of corrugated shipping containers produced in the US are recovered for recycling.

The Corrugated Packaging Alliance is a corrugated industry initiative, jointly sponsored by the American Forest & Paper Assn., AICC–The Independent Packaging Assn., the Fibre Box Assn., and TAPPI.

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