Food manufacturing facilities are subject to exacting standards established to protect human food products from contamination. These requirements necessitate a food safety plan to help you comply with FSMA regulations – a plan that must take pest control into consideration to ensure your products aren’t impacted by disease-carrying pests. An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan is the best practice. But what does an exemplary IPM program look like?
We reviewed 15 years of award-winning programs from the IPM Partner Awards to find the commonalities among some of the strongest food manufacturing pest control programs in the country. Acing audits and achieving awards is hard work. Here’s five things every IPM award winner invests in doing:
- Know the pest pressures – When it comes to infiltrating food manufacturing facilities, a few pests rise to the top of the class. Take note of the key culprits, including rodents, flies and cockroaches, and how they’re likely to gain access.
- Treat accordingly – Pests are resilient and persistent. Take preventive measures first, but know when and how best to apply targeted treatment to protect food safety and product integrity.
- Stay sanitary – Sensitive areas, including drains and kitchens, should be cleaned daily, and there should be a written sanitation plan in place to ensure constant vigilance.
- Create continuity through documentation – Successful pest prevention isn’t a “one-time thing;” it’s an ongoing cycle of inspections, implementation and monitoring. Capturing the process means you can refine and repeat for better results.
- Make communication a cornerstone – Never underestimate the power of communication in a successful partnership.Fifteen years of award-winning programs reveal that an open dialogue is key to effective pest management.
Remember, the best practice is to proactively prevent the conditions that invite pests rather than attempt to control them after they appear. You and your staff are the first line of defense to protecting your facility, so it’s up to you to raise the alert when you see a problem. For information on IPM preparedness tips to protect your facility, download Making the (Food) Grade.