Pest control programs are a priority in food company labs, which are unwilling hosts to numerous unwelcome visitors. Mice and flying insects, including fruit and drain flies, are perennial invaders, while seasonal pests can periodically increase the pest control burden.
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Explore this issueAugust/September 2012
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These ubiquitous invaders can do serious damage in the labs themselves as well as the company’s nearby processing areas. Their droppings, urine, and shed cuticles can introduce allergens and pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses. Additionally, poorly controlled pests can result in fines, shutdowns, and unrecoverable damage to a brand’s reputation.
Kevin Keener, PhD, director of Purdue University’s Food Technology Development Laboratory in West Lafayette, Ind., claims that overall, food laboratories do an excellent job of pest management, with at least 95% of labs keeping unwanted intruders under control. “But they are never eliminated,” he warned. “There are always pests looking for a place to take up residence. Constant vigilance is required.”
Poorly controlled pests can do serious damage in labs as well as nearby processing areas, resulting in fines, shutdowns, and unrecoverable damage to a brand’s reputation.