The QA manager at a large food processing facility spots signs of possible rodent activity—gnaw and rub marks on shipping pallets, and some droppings on the exterior of his facility—and lets the technician from his pest management provider know about it while the tech is performing his normal service visit.
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Explore this issueJune/July 2017
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Eager to satisfy the client and eliminate the problem, the technician installs two additional bait stations in the area where the activity was reported and continues his service visit.
Back in his truck, the technician completes his service report but, because the visit ran long, he is in a hurry and inadvertently forgets to record that he installed the new stations. The service order is filed, the technician moves on, and the client does not immediately review the emailed service order because he has a budget meeting for which to prepare.
The seemingly harmless actions of the technician and QA manager could cost them both dearly if an auditor or government inspector notices stations that are not recorded in the pest logbook or marked on the facility map. It could result in the facility being written up or even failing an audit, which could be costly on several fronts.
The moral of this tale is that in today’s business climate properly documenting all pest management and food safety related actions within a food processing facility is a must and incidental oversight isn’t an excuse.
Documentation has always been an important part of a food processing facility’s operations, but now the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mandates documentation be even more organized, detailed, and accessible.