The type of pallet, wood or plastic, and its impact on food safety has become a hot topic in the last few years among food warehouse operators, food manufacturers and the public at large. Reports in the industry and the media at large have frequently offered conflicting views.
Some say that wood pallets can harbor more bacteria, bacteria that can be inadvertently transferred to goods stored on those pallets. Others say the opposite, that plastic pallets can more easily transfer bacteria to the goods they hold during transport and storage within supply chains and distribution channels.
According to a report in the October 2010 issue of Food Protection Trends, 1.9 billion pallets are used daily in the U.S. and roughly 90 to 95 percent of those pallets are made of wood. Of those 1.7 to 1.8 billion wood pallets, approximately 40 percent are used to ship food products such as dry groceries, dairy products, frozen foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. The huge number of food/package/wood pallet interactions that occur without issue each year, speaks to the overall safety of the materials and processes used in the production and distribution of food.
According to the article Selecting Pallets: Wood vs. Plastic by Deborah Catalano Ruriani, there are several things to consider before choosing pallets: 
- Understand the differences between the pallets.
- Consider the industry the company is working in.
- Determine the weight of the products shipped.
- Analyze the pallet management system within the company.
- Recognize the environmental impact of each option.
- Consider the products fragility.
- Determine if pallets will serve a dual purpose.
- Examine trade-off costs.
- Understand warehouse fire codes.
- Educate the company on new exporting rules.
According to Inbound Logistics, “Wood remains the most common pallet material used in the United States, but about five percent of shippers consider plastic the better choice for moving goods.” 
FW Warehousing is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Midwest warehouse distribution centers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana totaling more than four million square feet. Founded in 1949 with a focus on food grade storage, FW later broadened its services to include general warehousing, dry storage, product distribution and fulfillment. FW Warehousing has more than 60 years of experience in third-party 3PL logistics and has been ranked in the top 100 Third party Logistic Companies in the country by Inbound Logistics magazine.
1. Selecting Pallets: Wood vs. Plastic (- Inbound Logistics) http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/selecting-pallets-wood-vs-plastic/