Case Farms and Orkin: Award-Winning IPM Produces Audit Success
Case Farms’ fully integrated poultry farming and processing group holds a strong commitment to quality products and dedicated service, which means there’s no room for pest problems. For this reason, the Winesburg, Ohio, processing facility chose Orkin Commercial Services as their partner in pest management in 2005.
To help keep their pest management program in tip-top shape for internal quality checks and external audits, Case Farms employs Orkin’s Gold Medal Protection program. With Gold Medal Protection, the poultry processing facility receives a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program and thorough, detailed reporting for all their audit needs. In fact, Case Farms received perfect scores on the pest control sections of its most recent food safety and YUM Brands audits. In recognition of their successful IPM partnership with Orkin, the company received a 2007 Gold Medal IPM Partner Award from Orkin, The IPM Institute of North America and NSF Cook & Thurber.
To learn more about this award-winning partnership, we spoke with Case Farms Quality Assurance Manager Paul Storsin and Akron, Ohio-based Orkin Branch Manager Jay Fusco. Here is an edited transcription of those interviews.
Why is Case Farms deserving of the Gold Medal IPM Partner Award?
Storsin: “Without a doubt, it’s the teamwork. Our Orkin pest specialist completes a comprehensive check of our facility every two weeks, and throughout the process does a great job of communicating with me.”
Fusco:“We have a great partnership, thanks in part to Case Farms’ deep commitment to their IPM program. Case Farms is engaged in the pest management efforts and conducts their own quality checks of the program when we aren’t there.”
Why is IPM so critical to Case Farms’ business?
Storsin:“We’re a federally inspected facility so pest control is very important. If a rodent is spotted in the processing part of the facility, the whole plant is shut down until the problem is resolved. Due to all of the strict USDA guidelines, it is necessary to take the initiative to prevent pests before one pest sighting turns into an infestation. To have a program like Gold Medal Protection that initiates IPM, which encourages prevention methods, is key. In this business, you have to be proactive.”
Fusco:“IPM is critical in the food processing industry to keep products safe from contamination by pests and the diseases they can carry. Not only does IPM use preventive techniques, but it also emphasizes non-chemical methods of managing pests to further help ensure food safety.”
How does each partner contribute to the pest management efforts at the facility?
Storsin:“There is nothing that Orkin will let slip by. My technician spots cracks in the facility, missing traps or misplaced bait stations and works with me and my team to resolve those issues. But it’s not just one person; it goes through the whole chain. Even the top management at Orkin is aware of my facility and asks the right questions to get any problems fixed. That just goes to show Orkin’s concern for our facility even though they have hundreds of thousands of customers.”
Fusco: “We work closely with the Case Farms team to make sure pest control won’t be a concern during their next audit. They trust us to provide them with recommendations that will continually improve the IPM program and quickly respond to our suggestions. Case Farms takes pest management seriously and relies upon their employees to keep a clean facility and help us help them prevent pests.
What results has your award-winning partnership achieved?
Storsin: “Without a doubt, our partnership has resulted in great audit scores. Before we partnered with Orkin, we were not receiving consistent scores on the pest management portion of our audits. But, Orkin took those audit results and thoroughly addressed each issue; ever since, we’ve been achieving perfect scores.”
Fusco: “Through our partnership we’ve been able to help Case Farms achieve great audit scores. But even more, the trust and respect we have for each other will help us continue to achieve success in the future.”