Establishing a Pest Management Program

There is one common goal among all processing plants with regards to pest control, and that is a zero tolerance for any and all pests to pace or soar inside processing facilities including their direct exposures to the product, contact surfaces and packaging materials.

To successfully battle against pests, prudent food and beverage companies should develop a customized daily pest control management program that includes a contracted professional pest control company to assist quality assurance and safety managers in the war against pests.

A processing plant’s customized pest control management program can simply be a daily supplemental checklist involving both the interior and exterior areas of the facility that works in union with the hired pest control company’s written plan.

The fight against invading pests can be a processing plant’s “Sisyphean Boulder” if not kept in check. All food and beverage plants typically create an oasis for heat, moisture, light, shelter, various olfactory perceptions, and victual oddments every day of the year. Obviously each individual food plant’s inherent biota environment will have its own unique eclectic pests that it must battle against on a quotidian basis.

Nonetheless, various nocturnal, crepuscular and diurnal species of insects, ants, cockroaches, rodents and birds are the most ardent and persistent pests that processing plants must generally deal with. This is complicated by the fact that all of these vexatious pests perpetually assault processing plants by stealthy and crafty means from the expanse triads of land, air and parking lot water puddles.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that food and beverage contamination can occur anywhere or anytime along the farm-to-table continuum. Though various forms of enteric pathogens have many times been verified as being the culprit for contamination, studies have shown that the very same pathogens detected in edible products can also be found on common everyday pests.

It’s doubtful that the average person is cognizant that the colorful façades of feral birds, who are often enticed to feed in domesticated gardens, can be deadly vectors of the virulent E. coli O157:H7 pathogen. Or that the malicious negative phototropism cockroach, that assails poorly wrapped sugar cereal in the food pantry, can spread pathogenic microorganisms such as coliforms, salmonella, clostridium and streptococcus. Even the harmless looking, but onerous housefly and its many progeny are capable of wreaking havoc by bringing typhoid, dysentery and staphylococcal infections to exposed kitchen counters, utensils and foods themselves.

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