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phs Teacrate Wash Process – Constantly Moving

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In fast moving businesses, such as food manufacture and retail, 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 single-use packaging, such as cardboard, 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 them out of reach for the majority of food and retail suppliers.

In order to help our customers adhere to strict hygiene regulations at all stages of the supply chain, phs Teacrate provides a crate washing service as part of our rental agreement or as a stand-alone service – allowing you to concentrate on other important aspects of your business.

Whether it’s pre-arranged, as per your contract, or an ad hoc request, the phs Teacrate washing process is the same, and finely tuned to deal with the 9 million crates 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

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 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.

The soiled items are then delivered to one of our state-of-the-art wash plants, strategically located in Durham and Curdworth, Birmingham. From these two locations, phs Teacrate is able to easily and efficiently cover retail and food manufacturing customers throughout the whole of the UK. Our skilled forklift truck drivers swiftly remove the palleted crates from the vehicles so that our cleaning operatives can get straight to work.

Standard (NBAT/FC4) and deep (NBAT/FC4D) Nestable Bale Arm Trays can both be handled by phs Teacrate’s washing equipment. These useful, food quality crates are popular for use in the retail and food industries thanks to the fact that they can be safely stacked when full without risk of damage to the contents, and snuggly nested when empty to save space. They’re easy to handle too. Our washers are 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.

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 for identification and tracking purposes. Throughout the washing 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.

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 for killing surface bacteria – however, the heat of the water can be altered to each specific customer’s requirements. Each step of the wash/dry process 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 washing process uses environmentally benign and food-safe chemicals (Bactirinse and Pentroclene Plus) 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 washing process and a rinse with clean water, the trays and pallets pass through an air knife blower 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.

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 the customer 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 cleaned to the highest standards.

Stack, Wrap and Deliver

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 RTP 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 item. 

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, 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.

Care and Attention from Start to Finish

Throughout the entire washing process, you can be assured of dedicated consideration shown by every phs Teacrate team member. From collection of your 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 our customers’ best interests at heart. During sanitisation, phs Teacrate’s operatives wear PPE clothing, gloves and hairnets so that you can be sure that 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 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 products and 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.

So, hang up your washing up gloves and give phs Teacrate a call to discuss how our rental crates, pallets and trays can be combined with our unbeatable washing process to provide you with a reliable supply of hygienic RTP to keep your business moving. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about.