Be Prepared BEFORE Your Next Food Safety Audit
By: Steven Graff H.BSc., Quality Assurance Manager, Abell Pest Control.
Posted on: 2/14/2012 12:00:00 AM

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Food Industry Pest Management Programs

In today’s Food Industry, your Pest Management Professional (PMP) is a critical part of your food safety plan. Yes your pest program is a critical part of food safety; but when you’re subject to Third Party Food Safety audits, much more is needed to achieve perfect scores. Knowing what constitutes a sound Pest Management Program that will exceed modern 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.

Program requirements fall under the principle of Active Program Management. Here are some guidelines to ensure that your current Pest Management Professional is providing the critical services that will protect your customers and your business.

Technician Training

Service Technicians require 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. Verify that your Service Technician has formal, certified training on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) such as QualityPro Food Protection certification through the National Pest Management Association. Ask to see your PMP’s established service procedures for food facilities or organic food facilities if required.

Documentation

Your on-site documentation binder must 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. When was the last time you reviewed yours?

Corrective Action Plan

A Corrective Action process ensures appropriate action is taken and documented when problems are identified by your Pest Management Provider. This can be a paper Corrective Action Log but is often built into your electronic reporting systems for easier management. An Auditor requires verification that structural, sanitation or pest problems are corrected quickly.

Electronic Reporting of Pest Activities and Trending

Electronic reporting uses barcodes inside the pest management devices in your facility to verify each device is serviced during each visit. Services are reflected on 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, right from your desk.

Advanced Technical Support

You may not think often about pest control...unless you have a need. And then you really have a need! Investigate the depth of your Pest Management Provider’s expertise; their Quality Assurance department, local Branch Management, Technician training and emergency response programs. 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.

Steven Graff is the Quality Assurance Manager at Abell Pest Control. Holding a Biological Science Honours degree from the University of Guelph, he has written and developed many nationally recognized papers, articles and training programs in the field of Pest Control, Integrated Pest Management and related fields. In his 15th year with Abell, he directs a team of Auditors and Field Trainers, who support hundreds of Technical staff for Abell and their Customers.


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