Pest infestations are a major risk in food and beverage production. They can result in expensive downtime and potentially even more expensive product recalls. It’s essential to have a pest management system in place. But just putting a system in place isn’t enough to protect you. Like any other area of compliance, good pest management is not about a ‘set and forget’ checkbox approach.
Yes, the first step is setting up your system, and the second step is contracting support for regular checks and trap or bait servicing. But the compliance goal posts are always moving, so there’s also a step three – and that’s about keeping up with best practice. For example, While the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association voluntary code of practice is considered to be the benchmark for best practice pest management in Australia and New Zealand, HACCP now recommends pest system audits are carried out by a qualified pest biologist accredited by the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association.
So to achieve the level of compliance your may need to supply certain customers, those regular audits are more important than ever.
According to founder of Greens Pest Management Services, Mark Wagner, there are six key areas where businesses fall behind and end up with a “could do better” on their audit report card:
- Ensuring your site map is up to date with all current trap and bait (toxic and non-toxic) locations shown.
- Having your site register up to date and correctly completed, including a current site map, comprehensive site specifications, rodent monitoring sheets, flying insect unit monitoring sheets, safety data sheets, technician licences and insurance certificates.
- Ensuring all service visits reports are fully completed and signed.
- Ensuring all pest logs are up to date and complete.
- Ensuring you have an up to date record of any pest feedback from clients and neighbours.
- Ensuring all staff have recently completed training or refresher training in good hygiene practices.
These activities are integral to your ongoing pest management practices but they are also easy to forget, with businesses relying too much on regular service visits and trap checks to highlight any problems. By that time though, you are already in potential trouble. Day to day work pressures can mean monitoring and hygiene slips. And when was the last time you updated your site map?
Making sure you are up to date with these six actions all the time means your pest auditor can complete your audit more efficiently and easily identify any areas for concern. It also helps set a benchmark for your pest service provider, helping everyone keep good pest management practice top of mind.
This content was prepared in conjunction with Greens Pest Management Services. Food South Australia has partnered with Greens to provide our members with an exclusive offer of a free pest audit to the value of $500. Click here to find out more.