Mold prevention requires specific steps during both the production process as well as transport. However, during the present global logistics disruptions extra precautions should be taken as follows:
Long Term Storage Checking
All materials as well as finished products stored for thirty days or longer needs to be regularly checked for any signs of mold. This includes visible mold, smell of mold and microbiological testing (see below). Micro-Pak can work with you to develop a sampling plan.
Tape Lift Tests
Micro-Pak has developed a “tape lift test” system for sampling materials and finished goods for the presence of mold so you can evaluate the condition of products prior to shipment. Tape lift samples are taken in the factory and sent to any of five Micro-Pak technical offices for analysis by our microbiologists.
Considering the greatly extended time that goods remain in containers it is recommended to add Micro-Pak Container Desiccants (MPCD) in each shipment. MPCD will absorb excess humidity in the container to prevent condensation and to make the atmosphere less conducive to mold growth.
Factory Loading vs. CFS Loading
Depending on logistics arrangements and quantities per shipment, companies will either load containers at the factory or at the forwarder’s CFS. In terms of mold prevention, we would recommend loading at the factory as this way the manufacturer can ensure the condition of the goods when loaded as well as the condition of the container. There is also a clear chain of custody of the goods from the factory to the customer.
Increased Use of Anti-Mold Products
Micro-Pak products have shown effective anti-mold function for periods of up to 120 days however the key is for the factories to follow our suggestions to do everything possible to produce mold free product and then store it in controlled conditions
While we always welcome increased business, if all recommend mold prevention steps are taken “doubling-up” on the use of Micro-Pak® Stickers or PE Sheets should not be necessary. For long term stored merchandise the factory could add Micro-Pak Dri Clay® Kraft desiccants in the master carton as an extra precaution but this is discretionary. We do recommend using Micro-Pak container desiccants in all shipping containers due to the extended shipping durations.
Cleaning Moldy Product
In the event that any moldy product (finished goods or components) are found in the factory, it is very important that the factory follows a specific cleaning protocol using an approved disinfectant. Micro-Pak technicians can assist the supplier with organizing this work.
For mold cases we can also conduct root cause investigations, combining sample analysis of the moldy products in our microbiology labs with an audit of the factory that manufactured the product. The goal is to identify potential root causes so as to prevent recurrence in future production.
Education and Training
In addition to materials posted on our website, Micro-Pak offers webinars, seminars, factory assessments, on-line training, direct meetings (Covid permitting) and microbiological testing in four countries. We encourage all suppliers to take advantage of these resources and are available to conduct private educational sessions at any time in English and Chinese.
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