Statement from the Reusable Packaging Association in Response to University of Arkansas Center for Food Safety Study on RPCs and Food Safety

The Reusable Packaging Association has issued this response after a recent study by University of Arkansas researchers was released by the Canadian Corrugated & Containerboard Association. You can read the CCCA press release here.

Reusable plastic containers (RPCs) are a safe, efficient and sustainable method for transporting fresh food from farms and processing locations to retail markets.

Since their introduction 25 years ago, RPCs have never been associated with food borne illness.  That is because food safety is the number one priority for the RPC industry. Without a strong commitment to producing and maintaining safe products, nothing else we do is possible.

The results of the University of Arkansas study should be met with extreme caution. A thorough examination of the methodology is necessary. In addition, laboratory testing of this nature often fails to replicate results once the methods are exposed to real world conditions related to the cleaning, sanitation and use of RPCs.

Because our industry takes food safety seriously, and because we are committed to a culture of continuous improvement, we monitor the complete body of research on container safety to ensure we will continue to provide our customers with safe products.  However, it is important to note that many of the recent studies on RPC safety have been funded and/or promoted by the cardboard container industry in an attempt to cast doubt on RPC safety for competitive advantage.

Simply stated, the RPC industry believes food safety is not a competitive issue, it is a fundamental right for every RPC customer and their consumers.  That is why RPCs undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitation process after each use, and have never been associated with food borne illness. We will continue to work with the entire fresh food value chain to ensure RPCs remain the best choice for the safe, cost-effective and sustainable transport of fresh food.

 Source: RPA