Mission Foods

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: Mission Foods and Orkin Partner to Keep America’s Taste for Tortillas Satisfied

Did you know tortillas are the second most popular bread type in America after white bread? It’s this demand that keeps Mission Foods, one of the largest producers of tortilla products, producing more than 10 million tortillas a day in Goldsboro, NC. With so many customers, Mission Foods cannot risk their reputation on poor pest management. That’s why Mission’s Goldsboro, N.C., plant relies on Orkin’s Gold Medal™ Protection to ensure their products are guarded against pests.

In recognition of their commitment to a collaborative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program with Orkin, Mission’s Goldsboro plant received a Gold Medal™ IPM Partner Award, presented by Orkin, LLC, The IPM Institute of North America, and NSF.

To learn more about the award-winning partnership, we spoke with Mission Foods’ sanitation supervisor for the Goldsboro plant, Timothy VanderLaan. Here is an edited transcription of that interview.

Why is Mission Foods’ Goldsboro plant deserving of the Gold Medal™ IPM Partner Award?

“Mission is in business to make a safe, quality tortilla product; one way we ensure this is by mitigating any potential contamination by pests. Orkin brings their expertise and experience to our pest management program by proactively identifying and correcting pest risks. Mission uses Orkin’s Gold Medal™ Protection program to stay aligned with outside food safety auditor requirements. Our Orkin team regularly provides recommendations on how we can improve our facility’s maintenance and daily operations, and we appreciate that.”

Why is IPM so critical to Mission Foods’ business?

“Being proactive is the basis of any IPM program – we help avoid pest problems at our facility by closely managing potential sources of a pest infestation through proactive sanitation and facility maintenance. We pride ourselves on quality and we know our customers – both food retailers and the end consumer – have expectations that our product will be safe. Orkin and our team stay continually proactive in controlling pests.”

How does each partner contribute to the pest management efforts at the facility?

“We understand that IPM is a team responsibility, so we make an effort to respond to our Orkin pest specialist’s findings in a timely manner. For example, our pest specialist notified us when a moisture issue developed under some baseboards, potentially attracting pests. Our maintenance guys came out on a Saturday when the plant wasn’t operating and worked with Orkin to replace the baseboards, helping prevent any future pest entry.”

What results has your award-winning partnership achieved?

“The well organized documentation available in Orkin’s Gold Medal™ program meets the requirements of many audit scenarios. As a result of working with Orkin, we know we should score well on the pest management portion of our third-party food safety audits. In addition, Orkin’s documentation and consistent service support our commitment to lean manufacturing. Their PowerTrak™ electronic documentation system standardizes the pest management process for us.”


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