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Everything You Need to Know About Food Crates

When the pandemic hit and the demand for online food shopping surged, food producers and retailers were squeezed. Needing to service customers, businesses had to be innovative in finding ways to keep their shelves full and transport orders to homes around the country.

Side by side with the food and retail industry, phs Teacrate also stepped up to meet the challenge – providing fast, convenient solutions to storing and transporting food in order to equip businesses to meet demand. This included mobilising a full range of food trays, pallets, pallet boxes, food skates and roll cages as well as upscaling our deep clean tray-washing facilities to support the sanitisation of these products for businesses.

Today, while we’re no longer in lockdown, it’s safe to say that food handling and food purchasing habits have changed both on the consumer and business side. In response, phs Teacrate is still servicing the needs of food producers and retailers who have realised that outsourcing handling solutions is simple, convenient and versatile with a solution to meet any need. And it also comes with the reassurance of stringent cleaning protocols thanks to a comprehensive wash process to kill bacteria so your crates not only stay looking good, they’re clean and hygienic too.

What is RTP?

RTP stands for Returnable Transit Packaging which encompasses all resources for storing, handling and transporting goods. This may include plastic crates, trays and pallets. By utilising RTP, businesses can pass on the resource-heavy management this process involves as well as cutting down on single-use packaging such as cardboard and plastic. This delivers cost savings and environmental benefits but can also help to provide better protection for goods as well as being more durable, longer lasting and easier to handle.

Why do food crates need to be cleaned?

More than 200 diseases can spread through food and, as a result, there are strict hygiene requirements for the industry. As food crates are being reused, they must in turn be clean in order to stay hygienic and remain fit for purpose use after use. Without this, they risk carrying bacteria and germs and harbouring diseases. As effective washing facilities involve substantial investment in infrastructure, resource and maintenance, outsourcing crate washing is usually the most efficient solution.

What is the wash process for food crates?

phs Teacrate offers a door-to-door specialist crate washing service with a reassuringly stringent process.

Prior to washing, all crates are separated and checked by hand with any debris and labels removed. Crates are then subject to a pre-wash in addition to the main wash set to a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius, as recommended by the Food Standards Agency to kill surface bacteria using environmentally-benign and food-safe chemicals. However, wash temperature can be set to customer requirements. After a rinse with clean water, crates then pass through an air-knife blow dryer and a heated dryer to ensure they are returned dry and therefore restricting the potential for bacteria growth.

What’s more, crates are also subjected to regular swab testing using Reflective Light Units to demonstrate high hygiene standards are continually being met with results logged for customers’ own records.

Where to send food crates for cleaning?

The short answer is nowhere! With a national reach, phs Teacrate will come directly to your door wherever you are in the UK. We collect your dirty crates, trays and pallets and delivered to one of our state-of-the-art wash facilities. Following a comprehensive wash service, pallets of crates are shrink wrapped to ensure cleanliness standards are maintained during transit and are delivered back to customers or to one of our regional depots for storage. And while this process is thorough, it’s also extremely efficient with a fast turnaround which consistently meets our next-day delivery promise. To prove this, we’re proud that 98% of our crates are delivered on time.

What equipment can be washed?

RTP equipment available for crate wash includes:

More details on RTP hire, purchase and crate washing

phs Teacrate handles nine million crates, food crates and trays every year. We have six depots across the UK and three in-house wash plants, strategically located in Durham in the Northeast, Curdworth in the Midlands and Edmonton in North London.

For a quality tray hire or purchase and for tailored crate-washing either on a fully-serviced contract basis or stand-alone service, get in touch with phs Teacrate today on 0800 090 2342 or email teacrateenquiries@phs.co.uk  

Want to know more?

Call us on 0800 090 2342 or Send us a message