Pest control is really challenging in every food processing facility. Due to the abundance of food items, ideal temperature and moisture conditions, different harborage sites and extended business hours, some conducive conditions are created that allow pest infestation to thrive. Maintaining a clean and safe site needs the facility managers to be completely aware of all the challenges as well as to be ready enough to face the challenges.

The Food Processing and Handling industry demands some uncompromising standards in the field of safety and hygiene. It is because, even a small pest infestation can lead to serious contamination and this as a result, the total unit can shut down. On the contrary, an unreliable pest controller can lead to further harm by using different types of unproven methods and hazardous chemicals and this thing then result in non-compliance of the safety and quality regulations. Therefore, it actually becomes fundamental to have an effective and reliable pest control program.

But before we discuss about the importance of a good pest control program in controlling the pests, it is important to be aware of the reasons why pest controlling is important in the food handling units.

In the field of food processing, the facility managers have a really long list of standards, which need to be met and pest control is one such standard. But the health issues that the insects can cause, demand that pest control should be a major priority in all the food facilities. There are a number of insects that directly carry different types of disease causing pathogens, which are therefore passed to the food items through their saliva and feces.

Here are the pests that work as the true example of danger.

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  • Cockroaches:    These are some of the toughest insects to    control and these are also known for spreading at least 33 types of    bacteria, sever different types of human pathogens and six types of     parasitic worms.
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  • Filth flies: These flies are known for spreading    over 65 types of human diseases including Staph, E. coli and    different types of food poisoning. These flies are feed by repeating both the stomach and saliva contents onto the intended meal. Then these flies consume the former contents as well as the newly    dissolved food items.

Apart from the above mentioned two types, there are some other insects that can also be processed accidentally into the food items. In this situation, proper pest management can help the processors to avoid rampant pest infestations and foodborne illnesses.

Now let’s have a look why it is important to call the professionals to do the pest control:

To make it sure that the pest management facility that you have chosen is passing inspections and meeting regulations, it is necessary that the facility remains under the care of a trained expert. The most important attribute of an expert pest controller operating in food handling unit is that he/she needs to be certified with different regulatory bodies in this field like FSSA, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005, FSMS, AIB, BRC and OSHA. Here come the details of these bodies:

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  • FSSA       or Food safety and standards authority of India and act: FSSA    is mainly created for laying down the science based standards for different food items and also to regulate the details of the food   items like manufacture, distribution, storage, import and sale to    make sure the availability of wholesome and safe food items for the purpose of human consumption.
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  • HACCP    or Hazard analysis      critical control point: This is basically a        preventive and systematic approach of food safety from the physical, chemical and biological hazards in the production procedures, which can lead the finished product to be unsafe. With this approach, a    measurement is designed that can decrease the risks to a safe level.
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  • ISO    22000:2005: This specifies the necessity for       the food safety management system where any organization operating   in the food chain has to demonstrate the ability to control all the food safety hazards to make sure that the food items remain safe        during the time of human consumption.
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  • FSMS       or Food Safety Management System: This        system mainly tracks the changes in the food security situations of   people. The main aim of this system is to alert all the humanitarian      community while any situation deteriorates and also to make sure        that proper assistance can be offered in an appropriate and timely    manner.
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  • AIB    or American Institute of Bakery: It mainly empowers clients across the globe to elevate food safety and the     capabilities of production process by building up and delivering proper application oriented learning, consulting and also value   added services. The main aim of this body is to offer food safety support on the basis of the manufacturing, packaging and    distribution of different food and beverage.
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  • BRC or British Retail Consortium: BRC mainly produces standards that the manufactures need to comply with      strongly in various product areas like as food, consumer products        and packaging.
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  • OSHA       or Occupational safety and Health Administration: OSHA   mainly grants the authority to issue the health and safety    regulations of different workplaces, which include: employee access      to different hazard information, limits on different hazardous        chemical exposure, necessity of using any personal protective equipment and the necessity to prevent falls and hazards from using   dangerous equipments.

So, whether you choose a contracted professional or an in-house staff member, the PMP or the Pest Management Professional should be an integrated member of the food safety team and should also have complete knowledge about the prerequisite programs, approved product lists, manufacturing practices and the sanitation programs of the food plants. It is because, all these things are important to be successful in the pest management program. Access to all those areas, which are generally restricted or locked, is also vital as these areas often offer conducive environment for pest infestations.

Here are the benefits that you can get by choosing the experts:

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  • The    expert Pest Management Professionals are well aware of the latest pest control products as well as application procedures to offer the best pest control program.
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  • The    experts always remain fully equipped to implement integrated pest   management programs successfully, with a special importance on     observance of the food safety norms.
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  • The    professionals are well aware of the stringent demands of safety,       hygiene and quality in the industry of food processing and handling.    Therefore, they offer customized pest management solution for the     sensitive environments of different food processing and handling       facilities.
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  • In some    cases, regulatory or production changes can also affect a pest control program a lot. The professional pest controllers are well    aware of these changes and therefore they can communicate these effectively to the team members.

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