Yeast & Mold Standard

Reul asks,

We recently had a batch of doublewall boxes held at the port because it was mishandled by the shippers and delayed for about two weeks. The dry container van was stored at the Customs Yard. Maybe the two weeks of exposure to cyclic condition, high humidity at night time and occasional rainfall may have resulted in a favorable condition for spore to develop into molds.

Do you know a standard or allowance of presence of yeast/molds in a corrugated box? We have this analysis of 1500 CFU from the swab test conducted on the samples coming from a certain batch of corrugated boxes that we produce.

This has been a concern for us since one of our customers complained the boxes they received had some dusty matter on its surfaces. We sent samples to an independent lab for microbial analysis and it was confirm to have that reading mentioned above. Is this value alarming?

That’s a tough question. We have no threshold count for molds and yeasts. It would not come with the containerboard except where the relative humidity or liquid water is present with the spores. Certainly the conditions you described could have had an impact on the condition of the boxes and the growth of molds if spores were present. Depending on what the contents are and what the end user environment is these conditions could very well be unacceptable.

— Ralph

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