FSMA and pest control? Data collection and pest control? You bet, in both cases.
Pest control plays a critical role in both the Food Safety Modernization Act and Global Food Safety Initiative. And data collection of the information gathered in your pest control program is a key component of compliance for both of those food safety programs.
Between FSMA and third-party audits that comply with GFSI, there are more rules and more prescribed steps to follow. And a lot more record-keeping. Both of those food safety initiatives require proof that you have a pest control plan in place and, more importantly, that you're following it.
In almost all components of both programs, the attention is turning from reacting to problems to preventing them in the first place. It's critical to discover and correct situations as early as possible, not just mitigate them after the fact. And to prove that you're on top of the situation.
In a 2013 note in the Federal Register, the FDA noted that problems with both pests and pesticides were contributors to food safety incidents in the recent past. “Pest management in the future will pay heightened attention to product transport vehicles, loading dock and non-food storage areas, facility maintenance deficiencies that create pest and microbial harborages and utilization of pest-sighting logs as part of pest management trend analysis,” says Jerry Heath, product manager and staff entomologist for Industrial Fumigant Co. (IFC), Lenexa, Kan.
Whether your main problem is insects or rodents, rules and recommendations have changed on the placement and spacing of rodenticides, on which insecticides and rodenticides can be used (some have been phased out) and in how you handle an infestation.
As a result, food and beverage processors need to rethink their pest management programs. An integrated pest management program – IPM in the parlance of those service providers – is the modern way to go, the vehicle to prove you're being proactive. We’ve compiled a report to start you on that process.
Included is our general story on the state of pest management and an insightful whitepaper from IFC that should make you consider whether your plant is doing enough to ensure food safety.