Pest Management in Food Manufacturing Facilities

Pest Management in Food Manufacturing Facilities: Its Necessity and Its Obstacles

Excerpt from Quality Assurance Magazine October 2010

In reviewing the issues arising from PCA, it should be clearly stated that pest management practices – or lack thereof – were not the central cause for the nationwide Salmonella outbreak. Yet, when one considers the presence of such conducive conditions for pests, the presence of cockroaches throughout the facility and the simple fact that Salmonella, was transmitted – a disease for which rodents can so often be a vector – poor or improper pest management practices could be viewed as a contributing factor in creating this crisis situation.

In the absence of a singular cause for the Salmonella outbreak and in light of the havoc caused by a national recall of PCA products, the situational details reflect the need for strong, effective and consistent pest management practices within food facilities. The illnesses, and ultimately the fatalities, associated with the outbreak serve as an important reminder that food safety cannot be taken for granted in the United States. Corporations must give the requisite time and attention to maintaining food facilities or human health – not just product – can be adversely affected.

The presence of pests – dead and alive – in the Georgia PCA Plant is also a reminder of the significant health risks associated with pest infestations. No matter the size or severity of an infestation, a pest problem is not a situation to be taken lightly. Cockroaches, rodents and other pests are known to transmit diseases, including Salmonella, which is carried and spread simply on the body and hairs of pests.

With such knowledge of the potential health threats related to pest infestations, it is inconsistent that there should be any obstacles to the implementation of a strong pest management program. Yet, as the PCA situation proved – and as many firms can likely attest – pest management often faces challenges in asserting its rightful place among “top priorities,” for corporations. These challenges, well-recognized within the industry, may have contributed to the PCA crisis in ancillary ways. Yet, regardless of how large or small their underlying role in this crisis, these challenges should be addressed and discussed as government, corporate executives and food facilities work to strengthen future oversight initiatives. If there are to be forthcoming changes in how food facilities are inspected, audited, evaluated and treated then it is critical that three particular challenges related to pest management – that of organizational priorities, clarity of standards and service benefits - must be more deeply discussed within the context of a post-PCA world.

The U-Trap-It* System provides these core capabilities:

Inspect All types of pest management devices, areas, and buildings.
Verify The System verifies that all pest management devices, areas, and buildings are inspected before leaving the serviced area. Inoperable or missing devices can easily be replaced.
Record The System records the Pest Environmental Data from the inspection of each pest management device, area, or building in greater detail than by any other means and stores the information in a useable form for later use.
Track U-Trap-It tracks the Pest Environmental Data from the inspection of each pest management device, area, and building including the status of sanitation and maintenance issues along with the status of any corrective actions. It also manages and tracks the use and change over of non-toxic bait usage.
Analyze The System can analyze the collected information for any time period. Incoming data is automatically analyzed for items that exceed thresholds and the user is notified of these issues.
Report The System generates feedback in the form of an extensive variety of reports, graphs, floor plans, and site plans(industrial version)/street mapping(municipal version) to fit the user's needs.

The U-Trap-It System ensures Pest Management Plan success. It is an essential management tool for

"When and Where Pest Management Matters"

From the Field to the Marketplace