A company

that hires out crates and pallets to food distribution companies has invested in new technology to ensure its hygiene standards are meticulous.

PHS Teacrate deals with over a million crates passing through its plant and is responsible for cleaning them before they are sent out again. Teacrate's operations supervisor Sean Pinches explained: "Every pallet of cleaned crates has to be swab-tested and the level of contamination measured using bioluminescence technology. The maximum reading for, let's say dairy products, is 150 Relative Light Units (RLU), whereas a maximum reading of 500 RLU is permissible for meat products. To put that in context, the average person's 'clean' hand would give a reading of around 30,000 RLU."

After cleaning and checking, the crates are wrapped in a protective plastic material to avoid contamination.