After being in the pest management industry for over 80 years, there isn’t much our team hasn’t seen or heard. Here are some of the frequently asked questions.
What pests are common in the food industry, and why?
While there are a variety of pest concerns in the food industry, we commonly see and hear questions about four: ants, flies, cockroaches, and dermestids (a group of beetles). These pests seek out organic matter, something food processing and food industry facilities can have in abundance. To learn more about these four pests, read our full resource on common pests in the food industry.
What are some of the key factors to eliminating pests in my facility?
A proactive integrated pest management (IPM) program is first and foremost about integrating tactics and strategies that eliminate pests and ultimately create an environment that keeps pests away. Key factors include properly identifying the pest of concern and creating a sanitation schedule and strategy that works for your team and facility. The IPM Pyramid is a great visual for what pest management experts work towards within IPM strategies.
What recommendations does IFC make for keeping pests out of a facility?
Outside pest invaders are a common concern. Birds, rodents, flies, and more can become a real nuisance, especially in the food industry. We find that outdoor waste areas or areas where spillage has occurred are commonly overlooked, attracting a variety of pests close to the facility. Bioremediation services are often beneficial, and maintaining a consistent sanitation program will support an outdoor environment that is unattractive to pests. We also suggest monitoring any pest entry points – cracks, broken seals, etc. Outdoor invaders, especially as seasons change, will use these vantage points to come in.
What can I do for my facility to protect against pests?
We have countless tips we share with clients. Many are unique to the different circumstances or pests experienced. Something beneficial for all, is the accountability and eyes of your team! Employees are there every day, so they can note any pests or concerns and maintain a sighting log that your IPM professional can properly respond to. Other things we suggest:
- Look at the points of pest entry and get those fixed!
- Have a regular sanitation schedule that includes an immediate response at pest discovery.
- Check all facility doors to ensure they close properly or aren’t left open for long periods of time as an open invitation to pests.
- More pest prevention tips for sanitation and maintenance
When should I be considering Fumigation?
Fumigation is a quick and versatile solution that resets the pest population to zero, allowing you the unique opportunity to correct conducive pest conditions, implement enhanced sanitation approaches, and create an IPM strategy that works for your facility. Fumigation can be a cost-effective solution and a great tool for infestations. Your pest professional will discuss options and timing to ensure the best results.
We have an upcoming audit. What should I prepare?
Unannounced audits demand the 24/7 preparedness from every food safety manager. As mentioned before, your employees are a great asset. Keeping a pest sighting log alongside your pest management program documentation can show the proper strategies are in place and steps are being taken to maintain a sanitized facility. Your pest management professional should have a well-documented service notebook for records on overall service, schedule, device locations, pest trend reports, and more. It is important to remain familiar with your IPM program, as it will include items your auditor may ask for or need. We rounded up five tips we recommend to all clients for audit preparedness.
What can I do to prevent concerns about about Salmonella or Listeria?
These bacteria, along with other types of molds, fungi, and viruses, can be difficult to treat simply because they go unseen and reside in difficult areas. A Chlorine Dioxide Treatment can significantly help to maintain a sterilized facility by targeting the likes of Salmonella, Listeria, and even E. Coli with a gas that penetrates to all parts of the treatment area. Something unique about this treatment is it can be used for the creation of a “Clean Start Date” in the case of a recall and sterilizes for a Log 6 Reduction of the targeted life forms.
How will I know if I’ve found a quality pest management expert?
A quality pest management professional should be seen as an extension of your team, seeking to offer a comprehensive integrated pest management program that supports all audit requirements and a pest-free facility. Questions to consider when deciding on a pest management company could include:
- Do they have the applicable credentials by the state’s regulatory agency?
- Do they have experience in the food manufacturing and processing industry? Considering the industry requires highly specialized regulatory requirements that you need to meet, this will be crucial.
- Do they have the technical knowledge to support your facility when new equipment or information becomes available, or an infestation concern emerges?
- Choosing a pest management company to maintain your IPM strategy is important to your overall bottom line and to maintaining compliance. Research and choose a company that complements your operations, people, and goals.
For more information, read our resource, 5 Criteria to Evaluate a Pest Management Provider.
Considering the nature of the food processing and manufacturing industry, having a high quality IPM program in place by a trusted team is crucial to your overall success. If you have any questions for our team, please give us a call at (800) 477-4432, email us, or contact us now using the form below.