Checklist: Working the Bugs Out of the Food Processing Supply Chain

As food manufacturing regulations continue to become more stringent, preparedness must remain at the heart of your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program — especially when it comes to your supply chain.

The goal of IPM is to prevent pest problems before they happen, prioritizing facility maintenance and sanitation first, rather than relying solely on chemical treatments. To accomplish that goal, you become a partner in pest control — helping prevent and identify problems — rather than taking a passive role. While you’re likely already playing a role in pest control at your own facilities, what’s your visibility into the pest control programs surrounding you in the supply chain?

The steps below will set you up to have reliable partners in pest control at every step — and to be one yourself. For the full list of proactive steps, check out Your Guide to Supply Chain Pest Management for Food Processing.

Check with Your Suppliers

  • Confirm that your suppliers' pest management protocols are consistent with, or even more stringent than, your own. Similar pest prevention efforts can help minimize the chances of pests putting a kink in the supply chain.

Check Your Shipments

  • Inspect all delivery trucks. This will help ensure that pests do not hitchhike their way into your incoming or outgoing shipments.

  • Remove incoming shipments from their original containers and store items above the floor for more secure food storage.

Check with Your Distributors

  • Confirm your distributors’ pest management protocols and audit scores. Similar to suppliers, your distributors are your partners. Ensuring they have a good track record of pest prevention efforts can provide peace of mind.

While the hope is to keep every pest out of your facility forever, the reality of that is unlikely, so preparedness and a communicative relationship between all parties is key to remaining as pest-free as possible. For information on the pests that are most attracted to your facility and additional preparedness tips, download Your Guide to Supply Chain Pest Management for Food Processing.

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