How Often Should I Have My Food Processing Facility Checked for Pests?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs encompass the most effective practices and solutions to keeping your food processing facility pest-free. One of the biggest factors contributing to the validity and consistency of IPM plans is their dedication to ongoing inspections and continuous treatment. Pest control is a process, and not simply a one-and-done endeavor. And so, this allusion to an ongoing dedicated effort begs the question: how often should I have my processing plant inspected?
Unfortunately, many food safety and pest control experts will put forth an unrealistic or ambiguous recommendation by suggesting that you call for pest inspection “as frequently as possible.” While it would be theoretically ideal to vigilantly inspect every corner of your establishment for bugs or rodents every waking second of the day, we can definitively assure you that “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Don’t misunderstand; we are not saying that your pest facility can shirk its legal responsibility to undergo pest inspections. But we do understand that your budget probably doesn’t allow for daily pest inspections, which, admittedly, would most likely be overkill.
So how frequently should my plant be inspected? Regular inspections provide the foundation for the most effective IPM plans. Weekly or bi-weekly inspections are not uncommon for food processing facilities, and many large plants will even schedule inspections more often. Not only should these inspections focus on areas where pests might enter your establishment, (employee break rooms, loading docks, storage rooms, etc.) but they should also actively scrutinize any processes and activities that may attract unwanted pests. These processes may include improper sanitation techniques, erroneous waste management, or even simple mistakes like forgetting to close doors and windows.
The 2013 Pest Management Standards for Food Plants from the National Pest Management Association require that a certified supervisor, quality assurance staff member, or manager from a licensed pest management company review the entire on-site pest management operations of food-processing facilities. This quality assurance audit should include a comprehensive review of the pest management program, pest control records, pest activity trends, and frequency of services and inspections. Furthermore, monthly inspections are required to ensure that all proper documentation is kept on record.
JP Pest Services understands the strict protocols food processing facilities must adhere to in order to build proper documentation and prevent code violations. Oh, and not to mention: we can keep the pests out! Contact JP Pest services now to request a free commercial consultation for your food processing facility.