The meat industry is one of the sectors with the highest demands for plastic logistics solutions (pallets, crates and containers), due mainly to the hygiene conditions required in the different applicable legislations, including the noteworthy HACCP directive.
In settings with extremely stringent cleanliness and hygiene requirements, plastic pallets, crates and containers or Pallet Boxes play a major role. All these elements can be washed after each use, and do not become penetrated by liquids or elements during the production process, ensuring ideal hygiene and cleanliness conditions.
With the growth of the meat sector, consolidating and adapting its processes to respond to increasingly stringent consumer demands and a highly regulated market, extremely exacting quality standards have developed to ensure optimum processing conditions.
Euronorm Plastic Crates (E1,E2 and E3)
On most occasions, meat and poultry handling takes place using standardised size plastic crates, produced in a raw material that is certified for food use. These crates are secondary packaging and come into direct contact with the food, meaning they require correct cleaning each time they are used for the next use.
Plastic Pallets for the meat industry
The filled boxes are handled, stored and transported on mostly plastic pallets. Within the meat and poultry industry, different types of pallets are used depending on the needs within the logistics chain at all times.
H1 Pallets: The most frequently used pallets in handling, processing and quartering rooms are called H1, considered to be standard within the meat industry. This pallet is used in internal closed circuits, where maximum hygiene standards are essential. H1 pallets are produced using virgin polyethylene material (HDPE), suitable for cold and freezing temperatures. Its design is static, meaning it does not accumulate liquids or other substances, thereby reducing any possible focal points for bacteria or parasites.
"The plastic pallets are waterproof, meaning that the interior does not home bacteria and/or parasites that could accidentally contaminate processed foods".
The plastic pallets are waterproof, meaning that the interior does not home bacteria and/or parasites that could accidentally contaminate processed foods. Moreover, unlike wood pallets, they can be washed after every use. This guarantees that the equipment arrives at processing plants under the most stringent hygiene conditions, avoiding any kind of external contamination or unpleasant odours in the processing halls.
H1 pallets are mostly used in internal or controlled circuits, where there is no risk of loss, such as in processing zones, for example, or in delivery to the end customer when they will be returned. These pallets belong the Naeco HYGIENIC range, which is the hygienic pallets category, whose performance, functionality and durability have been widely demonstrated.
Lightweight or nesting pallets: Other plastic pallets used in the meat industry are nestable pallets. These lightweight and economical pallets complete the logistics circuit and allow the prepared product to be transported to distributors and retailers. In general, the producer recovers these pallets, giving them a specific number of uses in the circuit. These pallets correspond to our Naeco LIGHTWEIGHT range. One of the most requested products is the BASIC 1208-O9 or BASIC 1210-09 model, which can also be customised with the client logo for identification upon return.
“The easy stacking and lightweight nature of nestable pallets facilitate reverse logistics and reduce transport costs.”
Containers or Pallet Boxes for the meat industry
Pallet boxes or plastic containers constitute another logistics solution used within the meat and poultry sector. The most common model has completely closed base and sides. Pallet Boxes are frequently used for the first stages of the production chain, as they retain and contain blood from the quartering process, or when moving large pieces within the production process.
“Plastic containers are used internally at the different phases of handling, especially when working with large pieces”.