Those handling the safe and pest-free transportation of food products are faced with unique challenges. Food safety concerns for food processors include microbial, physical/foreign material and chemical contaminations. FDA’s transportation rules state that all parties involved in the transportation process, including the shippers, receivers, loaders, and carriers, must follow specific pest management requirements. Food safety teams must understand the proper precautions to adhere to these requirements and avoid a major pest infestation during the shipping process.
There are a few steps that need to be taken when shipping pest-free:
- Understand FDA’s Regulation: You and your staff should know what needs to be implemented at your facility, including being aware of any new FDA updates.
- Educate Your Staff: Regular communication is key to ensure your staff understands the latest regulations and best practices to avoid violations and product mishandling.
- Evaluate Incoming Ingredients, Materials, and Equipment: Ensure compliance by examining any new shipments arriving at your facility.
- Evaluate Your Partners: Communicating with your vendors and partners to ensure they understand what is needed to stay pest-free is crucial. Consider obtaining a written agreement regarding FDA guidelines and/or creating a checklist to utilize for receiving and shipping.
- Establish an Efficient Process: There should always be a process in place to ensure that your food product transportation is obliged to FDA guidelines. Sanitization, documentation, training, ongoing improvements, and more are all keys to success when included in your process.
- Work with a Food Industry Pest Management Professional: Utilizing a team of trusted professionals to support your pest-free transportation process will help to ensure your maintaining compliance.
After implementation of precautions and processes, it’s still possible a pest infestation could occur. Properly identify the pest risk and implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program at your facility to prevent pest risks. By identifying the possible pest issue at hand, you will better understand how, and the methods needed to eliminate it.
Common pests found in food product transportation channels include:
- Scavenger pests, including ants and cockroaches
- Occasional invaders, including moths and seasonal flying insects
- Stored product insects, including Indian meal moths, flour beetles, dermestid, and cigarette beetles
IFC has over 85 years of knowledge and experience in supporting food processing facilities and transportation processes for a successful food-safety program. Our highly trained pest management experts will properly identify, monitor, manage, and prevent the pest issue at hand.
If you have any questions or are interested in scheduling an inspection, please request a no-charge assessment now and learn how IFC can support your facility’s transportation operations and needs.