Foodborne illness is an issue which has been an increasing cause for concern in Pakistan for a decade now. Deadly outbreaks and diseases make headlines every now and then. Very often, these kinds of infections can be linked back to foul or contaminated food products especially fresh produce. A lot of strain has been put in locating exactly at what step of the process, these bacteria multiply along the way to store shelves. This calls for immediate attention of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) towards all of the relevant parties involved in the food supply chain including food packaging companies as well as producers and retailers.
Food packagers are only one piece of the puzzle in this scenario which needed to be assessed for the capacity to contaminate the food. But here’s the thing, packaging which is used for one time and is in corrugated material is more hygienic and safer way to go about it and research is sufficient to prove this. It has been proven that the manufacturing process of corrugated packaging is capable of destroying common food pathogens.
Maryann Sanders who is a Senior Regulatory Specialist and microbiologist at Haley & Aldrich Inc. directed NSF International (Michigan, US) to carry out a research recently, sponsored by Corrugated Packaging Alliance, in which they analyzed both time and temperature of an average corrugation packaging process which brings together sheets of smooth paper with a fluting (arched layer of paper) in the middle of the two sheets, to determine if the process is enough to fend off bacteria.
The research utilized two variables namely time and temperature the same as employed in the actual corrugation manufacturing process where the liner boards (sheets) heat up to 180 to 200 Fahrenheit (82 – 93 degrees Celsius). Under these conditions the sheets were contaminated with a plethora of thermo tolerant bacteria. Previously mentioned temperature was reached for a specific amount of time (typical of the corrugation process) and the results concluded 5 log (100,000 times) decrease in the organism level present on the corrugated sheets.
This recent study confirms what we already know for a long time that the process of corrugated sheets manufacturing kills off all the bacteria due to exposure of extreme temperatures and time duration used in it. Apart from this, studies conducted over the previous years from 2010 to 2015 using samples from 40 different paper and corrugated box manufacturing companies reveal similar results.
So this concludes that corrugated packaging is a safe way for products to be shipped and helps prevent any foodborne illnesses.