In a facility like yours, pests are more than a nuisance and a safety concern. They’re a business threat. Any time pests make an appearance in your operation, you’re looking at a loss. From having to dispose of infested products to deducted points and fines on a third-party audit, real monetary consequences come along with pests.
Lost Products & Ingredients
Food products are just as attractive to pests as they are to consumers. That can mean cockroaches feasting on finished product or stored-product pests infiltrating dry ingredients. Whatever the pest, once they’ve made their way into something that’s meant to be food-grade, it’s a lost cause. And those wasted materials or destroyed products represent a cost you can’t recoup.
Once you’ve identified a pest problem, you have to take the time to address it. That can mean time and effort by your team to trace the issue to its source and pausing aspects of your operation until it can be found. Your time and attention are valuable, not to mention the monetary impact of reduced capacity and increased downtime while you resolve the problem.
If pest problems go undetected before they leave your facility bound for your customers, their discovery on the other end of the delivery can have serious consequences for your reputation and your revenue. Not only will you not get paid for the ruined product, but it could also lead to a lost contract and customer. Given the exacting quality standards of most professionals in the food industry, failing to meet them will not be favorable to your business.
Lost Points on Your Audit
Your facility faces a number of types of audits. Pest control can be up to 20 percent of your third-party audit score. Issues identified by auditors can result in fines as well as some of the losses already noted, whether it’s disposing of product, shutting down operations to remediate, or customers learning of a less-than-top-notch audit score.
Before you find yourself paying for a pest problem, consider some of the most problematic pests and how to keep them from invading your bottom line.
Stored Product Pests
A variety of moths and beetles are attracted to grain, meal, nuts, and other raw ingredients. The first place to start inspecting is the samples as they come into your facility. Use the first-in-first-out practice as a quality control measure that will ensure the ingredients are used in a timely manner and minimize the opportunity for stored product pests to get inside or for mold to grow – which can attract other kinds of stored product pests.
Other industries might consider flies a nuisance, but flies in a food and beverage processing environment are a red flag. Flies frequent filthy areas and carry the germs from those areas with them everywhere they go. Every landing can track bacteria and other pathogens around your operation. Ensure your fly control plan includes adequate monitoring devices to track activity plus rigorous sanitation and odor control measures to minimize the conditions that attract them.
Like flies, cockroaches are unfussy feeders able to thrive on food debris, garbage, and even non-food material. They also pick up and track harmful bacteria wherever they go – in addition to carrying six types of parasitic worms and seven kinds of human pathogens. Have facility maintenance routinely check for cracks and crevices that need to be repaired and install door sweeps to minimize the points of entry.