IFCO's SmartGuardian system monitors parameters during the cleaning and sanitizing process. ( Courtesy IFCO )

Testing from an independent laboratory has confirmed that IFCO’s cleaning and sanitation process on reusable plastic containers effectively remove or deactivate pathogens.

That includes plant pathogens such as the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), according to Eurofins Biodiagnostics, which conducted the tests.

“The research and results from IFCO‘s ongoing testing should provide peace of mind to growers and retailers, who can continue to use IFCO RPCs knowing that our containers remain safe, efficient and a sustainable packaging for tomatoes and other fresh food items,” Dan Martin, president of IFCO North America, said in a news release.

More than a billion of the company’s RPCs are used to transport fresh produce and other foods from farms and processors to retailers. RPCs have not been connected to any case of foodborne illness, according to the release.

IFCO specifically tested for the tomato virus to reassure customers, according to the release.

IFCO uses proprietary software — SmartGuardian — in the cleaning/sanitation process to monitor records and sanitation parameters. If those parameters go beyond preset levels, it can shut down the system until it is properly running again, according to the release.

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