Control measures – quality assurance & food safety

In order to create the basis for how companies fight pests in their facilities, it was asked whether the building services of the respondents were carried out by an internal person or were outsourced. The vast majority have fully (63%) or partially (24%) outsourced their services; only 11% only use internal employees to carry out pest control. (Table 6) Although only a very small percentage (2%) reported having no pest control, this raises questions as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mandates pest control as a preventive control and the USDA includes pest control as a hygiene standard.

As shown in Tables 7-10, the organizations surveyed have implemented the following control and / or preventive practices:

• Interior controls (table 7). 61% of respondents indicated that some form of cockroach control was carried out at the facility, with baits (34%) and traps (33%) being the most common methods. It is somewhat worrying, however, that 25% were left unchecked, as regardless of the presumed method of entry (Table 6), cockroaches can enter feeding facilities, seek shelter in hidden areas, and reproduce to contaminate food and food surfaces.

• External controls (Table 8). Only 33% of respondents said that external cockroach control is implemented, with 27% implementing spraying of the perimeter and 25% implementing the use of bait. However, since only 29% of respondents responded that cockroaches came from outside (Table 6), this correlates well and shows that those who suspect outside cockroaches are likely to be those who conduct controls in this area .

• Prevention (Table 9). While only 61% of those questioned implemented indoor controls against cockroaches (Table 7), a full 91% implemented preventive measures. Regular checks were most common (74%), followed by insect monitoring (62%), the second most common method.

• Exclusion. Of those who have implemented preventive measures in their facilities, 29% say that exclusion is a key factor. These include:

  • 89%: Sealed cracks and gaps
  • 87%: Employees instructed to keep doors closed
  • 82%: Installed door sweepers or air doors
  • 53%: Cut back branches and shrubs from the building
  • 16%: miscellaneous

• IPM (Table 10). It is a positive sign that 68% of reporting organizations have implemented Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as recommended by pest control industry professionals and many state and government publications. But not only 12% don’t implement IPM, 12% don’t even know what it is. If you or one of your employees is one of these 12%, there are a number of references that can provide further information and recommendations for implementation. Below are some of QA’s:

  • Do you do “IPM”?
  • IPM: The Plan You Need to Stay in Business
  • This is how you ensure that your facility remains pest-free
  • Pest control regulations

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