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You don’t need us to tell you how versatile pallet racking can be in warehouses – but sometimes knowing how to use it can make all the difference.

Take food storage, for example. An increasing number of warehouses in the modern landscape of ecommerce and nearly-instant product delivery have gotten into the food storage business, an industry which shows no signs of slowing down or stopping.

Food storage, as is well-known to anyone involved in the industry, comes with a lot of regulations, standards, and requirements that need to be met both to uphold food safety laws and to maintain the health and safety of your customers. These regulations can seem to change by the day thanks to the proliferation of organic and non-GMO foods among others, and knowing how to safely store these items can be a challenge all on its own.

While most warehouses have turned to food storage shelves and germ free shelving to help manage their food products, the proliferation of bulk goods and pallet-sized food shipments have meant that more warehouses need bulk storage like pallet racks to organize their food shipments. Particularly for warehouses that need bulk pallet racking for freezers to store their products even longer, pallet racks have become an increasingly popular option for long-term storage of bulk foods and other consumables.

When designing a pallet rack for your food storage warehouse, there’s several factors to consider, including:

Safety of floor-level pallets

As a general rule, pallets containing food products should never be stored on the floor, no matter how well-packaged or tightly-shrink-wrapped they may be. All pallet racks in food storage warehouses need to use pallet rack decking that starts at the floor, and floor-length beams to help keep the goods safely off the floor and away from potential damage or contaminants.

The right material for the racks

Much like with food storage shelves, food storage pallet racks need to be made from the right material to resist germs, contamination, rust, and other types of potential damage or corrosion. Use rust proof pallet racking for an added layer of protection for your perishable goods, particularly when the pallet racks are being used in freezers or in environments where they could be exposed to the elements (such as near a loading dock).

Proper inventory rotation

Food storage warehouses have to be much stricter about ship dates and product movement than other types of warehouses, due to the expiration and production dates of the goods involved. Whether you use FEFO (first-expired-first-out) or FIFO (first-in-first-out) rotations, make sure your pallet racks are designed and laid out in such a way as to help products get out the door more quickly. This can be done by ensuring your lowest and easiest-to-access pallets serve as the home for the goods that need to leave first, and using gravity flow racks in place of standard racks and decks can help your products get to their destination even faster.

By keeping these tips and standards in mind, you can better prepare for the requirements of food storage and help keep your customers, your workers, and your products safe when using pallet racks for food storage.

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