With fast moving businesses, such as food suppliers and retailers, it’s imperative that you have all of your resources ready when you need them. This includes Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) - plastic crates, trays and pallets - to help transport and store your products.
RTP provides many environmental benefits, protective properties and cost savings over other packaging, such as cardboard and single use plastics, but only if pallets and trays are kept hygienically clean. Effective washing facilities involve substantial investment as well as costs associated with staffing, plant maintenance and hygiene due diligence, which puts an in-house wash process out of reach for the majority of food and retail suppliers.
In order to help our customers – food suppliers and retail suppliers alike - adhere to strict hygiene regulations at all stages of the supply chain, phs Teacrate provides a deep clean wash process for your plastic storage crates, collapsible plastic crates, stackable crates and heavy duty plastic crates. Something that can’t be done with single use plastics. This can be as part of your rental agreement or as a stand-alone service, allowing you to concentrate on other important aspects of your business.
Whether it’s a pre-arranged deep clean and blow dry, as per your contract, or an ad hoc request, the phs Teacrate wash process is the same, and finely tuned to deal with the 9 million delivery crates, food crates and trays that we handle every year. Each crate, tray or pallet is cleaned to the highest standards and you can be assured that we’ll direct the same attention to your own trays and pallets as we do to our rental RTP products.
Convenient collection of plastic crates
At phs Teacrate, we never sit still - our service is all about being in the right place at the right time and we don’t just deal with plastic storage crates! You can expect dirty trays and pallets, as well as crates, to be collected from your premises at a suitable time for you, by one of our friendly drivers. If you have a requirement that falls outside of your contract, simply call our helpful contact centre or access our handy online customer portal to request a collection of any returnable transit packaging.
The soiled items are then delivered to one of our state-of-the-art washing facilities, strategically located in Durham and Curdworth, Birmingham. From these two locations, phs Teacrate is able to easily and efficiently cover our customers who are retail and food suppliers throughout the whole of the UK. Our skilled forklift truck drivers swiftly remove the palleted plastic crates from the vehicles so that our cleaning operatives can get straight to work to start the wash process.
Standard (NBAT/FC4) and deep (NBAT/FC4D) Nestable Bale Arm Trays can both be handled by phs Teacrate’s deep clean and blow dry equipment. These useful, food quality, heavy duty plastic crates are popular in the retail and food industries thanks to the fact that they are safely stackable crates when full, without risk of damage to the contents, and snuggly nested when empty to save space. They’re easy to handle too. Our wash process is also suitable for plastic pallets (HP1 or HP3) which should also be hygienically cleaned for use in any food handling environment. Because our versatile washing equipment can handle several different types of RTP (our rental products range from 25-litre to 165-litre capacity), we can clean each one of your mixed items to the same high standards without problem.
A wash process with attention to detail
All trays, crates and pallets are separated and prepared by hand, including the removal of debris and barcode labels that have been applied to the plastic storage crates for identification and tracking purposes. Throughout the wash process, operatives will check to ensure that all traces of labels have been removed and if the labels are particularly tacky, crates will be sent though the washing regime again.
The plastic crates, trays and pallets are placed into the specialist washers on a conveyor belt for a pre-wash, followed by a main wash which is set to 70 degrees Celsius – the temperature recommended by the Foods Standards Agency to food suppliers for killing surface bacteria – however, the heat of the water can be altered to each specific customer’s requirements. Each step of the wash process and blow dry takes place in a separate section of the machine so as to avoid contamination with bacteria from items at a different stage.
The phs Teacrate wash process uses environmentally benign and food-safe chemicals (Bactirinse and Pentroclene Plus) on the heavy duty plastic crates to help us and our customers adhere to environmental policies. Our commitment to the environment is demonstrated through our ISO 14000 certification.
Rinse and Blow Dry
At phs Teacrate there’s no reason why hardworking RTP shouldn’t be treated to a little TLC! Following the wash process and a rinse with clean water, the trays and pallets pass through an air knife blow dryer to remove surface water, followed by a heated dryer. At the end of the wash/dry process, items emerge with less than 10g of water on each, therefore restricting the potential for bacteria re-growth on all items from small collapsible plastic crates to versatile large plastic crates.
Cleaned pallets, crates and trays are periodically and randomly swab tested by trained staff using Reflective Light Units (RLU). Results are logged and made available to our food or retail suppliers customers for their own hygiene records. This is invaluable to you as a retailer or producer of food stuffs, in that these figures can support your own legal hygiene obligations while also providing you with the confidence that any RTP you entrust to phs Teacrate will be returned to you deep cleaned to the highest standards.
Stack, Wrap and Deliver
Before leaving our washing facilities, plastic crates, trays and pallets are then safely stacked onto a transport pallet and shrink wrapped to ensure that cleanliness standards will remain during transit and/or storage. Each batch of returnable plastic packaging is labelled with the date of washing, the name of the operative who has checked the high standards of the products, the name of the wrapper and details of the shift during which the cleaning, drying and wrapping has taken place. This provides full traceability of each of the heavy duty plastic crates.
Crates are loaded back onto one of our fleet of 30 vehicles and delivered to the customer or one of our 6 depots for storage. Our efficient routing means that not only are emissions kept to a minimum, but that phs Teacrate drivers can also consistently meet our next day delivery promise. In fact, we can happily boast a figure of 98% on-time delivery crates.
Care and Attention from Start to Finish
Throughout the entire wash process, you can be assured of dedicated consideration shown by every phs Teacrate team member. From collection of your plastic crates by our friendly drivers to careful loading into the washers and dryers, and diligent swab testing by trained staff members; every step of the way, we have the best interests of our customers – the nation’s best food suppliers and retail suppliers - at heart. During sanitisation, phs Teacrate’s operatives wear PPE clothing, gloves and hairnets so that you can be sure that plastic crates and pallets will not be contaminated. And our dynamic pool of hygienically cleaned crates, trays and pallets means that we’ll never keep a customer waiting for RTP to be washed, so that you can get on with your job with a prompt delivery of food crates, regardless.
Even though phs Teacrate is constantly moving along with our customers, we know that our business depends on your satisfaction and so we’d never risk our reputation by providing anything less than our best RTP products and deep clean service. A quick look at our Trustpilot reviews should provide you with all of the evidence that you need to prove that phs Teacrate is a trustworthy and quality supplier of plastic crates.
So, hang up your washing up gloves and give phs Teacrate a call to discuss how our rental heavy duty plastic crates, pallets and trays can be combined with our unbeatable wash process to provide you with a reliable supply of hygienic returnable transit packaging to keep your business moving. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about.