A Strong Pest Management Program - Address Your Needs before Your Next Food Safety Audit
By: Abell Pest Control
Posted on: 9/21/2016 12:00:00 AM

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When it comes to the Food Industry, the days of the Pest Management Professional simply providing good service and summarizing their findings and actions in a report are gone. Yes good service and strong communications are critical to ensuring safe food; however when it comes to the current environment that is infused with Third Party Food Safety audits, much more is needed to achieve perfect scores. Knowing what constitutes a sound Pest Management Program that will meet and exceed Third Party Food Safety standards is half the battle; choosing the right company to deliver on the needs of your facility will help ensure a safe food production environment.

What may have once been considered “Bells and Whistles” for Pest Management programs are now standard requirements for many Third Party Food Safety audit standards. Program requirements fall under the principle of Active Program Management, meaning that both the Food Facility and the Pest Management company must be constantly documenting and addressing pest activity and conditions that could support it.

Some of the pieces your Service Provider should be delivering to be in compliance include:

  1. Service Technicians with experience and training on how to effectively service food facilities and the stringent requirements with respect to paperwork, food safety and Third Party Audit standards. Does your Service Technician have formal, certified training on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) such as QualityPro Food Protection certification through the National Pest Management Association? Does the Pest Management company have established service procedures for food facilities? Organic protocols?

  2. Documentation binders that include everything Third Party Food Safety auditors require including business credentials such as Service Technician licenses and training certificates, insurance, device floor plans for the facility, up to date MSDS and Product labels for pesticides, service reports, Approved Chemicals Lists, Pesticide Usage Logs, etc.

  3. Electronic Reporting and Pest Activity Trending. Electronic reporting allows for a much higher level of detail to be captured with respect to the individual service verses a paper service report. As regular services are merged into one report and findings are tied to specified locations, filtering can be performed to identify chronic issues in the facility with respect to sanitation, structure or pest concerns. Electronic reporting also utilizes barcodes on pest management devices allowing for pest activity and proof of device service to be captured. Typically, pest activity data is processed within these reports to give trend report graphs that can be altered in real time for specific pests or specific locations within the facility.

  4. A Corrective Action process to ensure appropriate action is taken to address important issues identified during the pest management service is also a key requirement. This process can be conducted via a paper Corrective Action Log but is often being built into electronic reporting systems for easier management on a daily basis. Strong communication of the issues and cooperation is vital to ensuring a successful and effective Pest Management Program.

  5. Third Party support. The support team that the Pest Management company can offer can play a critical role in managing the entire program and keeping food safety on track. This support will come in the form of Branch Management, a Quality Assurance Department, Information Technology Department, and a strong local base of Service Technicians. The Support Team can provide the Food Facility with regular program reviews to determine whether revisions are necessary to mitigate chronic problem areas and strengthen the program. They can also provide other support such as staff training, detailed facility audits, and software support.

The abilities of the Pest Management Industry have greatly advanced to meet the needs of our Food Industry Clients. Be sure to investigate the opportunities to maximize the Pest Management Program at your facility to ensure compliance with Third Party Food Safety Audit standards.

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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