“The system to fight pests is an auditable part of all food safety systems and we can really become better when we carefully read and apply the guidelines of these protocols. Most of the existing food safety protocols have evolved beyond a list of criteria and became an advanced and continuous reviewed list of good practices.”
Pest Management in a mill or a silo elevator is the system we use to fight against insects and rodents. Basically we fight against stored product insects (moths and beetles) and against mice and rats. This is an eternal fight and we –humans- should involve all new technologies and substances to improve our performance. The system to fight pests is an auditable part of all food safety systems and we can really become better when we carefully read and apply the guidelines of these protocols. Most of the existing food safety protocols have evolved beyond a list of criteria and became an advanced and continuous reviewed list of good practices. We have a lot to gain when we read carefully and between the lines!
This article is gathering information from the most important protocols in Europe (as of September 2017) and it may be used as a guide to develop an extensive IPM system, with the support of specialists.
BRC ISSUE 7
As mentioned on paragraph §4.14, BRC requires at least the following:
• Pest activity may occur and when it does it shall be recorded and treated in order not to present a risk to raw material, packaging or products. Each site shall be covered by the IPM system that is served by competent professionals. The scope of services shall be analyzed. The frequency of applications shall be determined by risk analysis.
• All relative legislation shall be respected regarding products used and stored, regarding licenses and training of professionals.
• The IPM records shall include the products used, the dosages, method of application, list of bait stations and traps, measured activity and follow-up actions. Poisonous bait for rodents shall not be sued inside production areas unless when treating an active infestation.
• UV and pheromone traps shall be used to monitor insect populations and when products become infested shall be treated as non-conforming.
• All preventive and corrective actions shall be recorded and completed on the agreed time.
• An expert shall carry out an in-depth IPM audit at least annually and statistical trends shall be used to improve the system.
• Employees shall be trained to understand pest activity and the importance of pest proof buildings.
IFS ISSUE 6
As mentioned on paragraph §4.13, IFS requires at least the following:
The factory must follow the legislation, must have a map of traps, identify the chemicals and dosage used, the frequency and the responsibilities. The system shall be based on a risk analysis and trained professionals shall be in charge. Non-conformities of the system and their corrections shall be documented. The correct number of bait-stations and traps for rodents and insects shall be in place and functioning. All deliveries shall be checked on arrival for the presence of pests. Statistical trends of the system shall be used for improvement.
GlobalGap IFA VERSION 5.1
As mentioned on paragraph §FV 5.6, GlobalGap IFA requires at least the following:
• To apply a system for monitoring and correcting the pest populations. To make sure the system is monitored with the relative records and corrective actions.
• Additionally on table §5.5.3 it is underlined that legislation shall be respected and licensed or/and trained professionals shall perform the duties. No objects shall provide harborage to pests near the production and storage areas.
As mentioned on paragraph §7.2.3, one of the prerequisite programs (PRPs) is pest control.
IPM is not clearly mentioned again in the protocol; however a well-trained consultant or auditor will manage IPM risks through risk assessment and hazard management.
AIB EDITION OF JANUARY 2017
Pest Management is a key point of AIB. On the first pages of the protocol one can witness the importance of having pests under control during an IAB audit. For example on page XVII at §4 one can see the several findings related to IPM that can lead an assessment to the “unsatisfactory” result.
§2.2 requires that if equipment is placed outside, it is managed to prevent pest harborage. Also vegetation is properly maintained to prevent harborage. Finally waste containers shall be managed in a manner to minimize pest attraction.
§2.4 suggests to repair cracks and crevices to avoid pest harborage. The building must be pest proof as shown on paragraphs §2.5, 2.6, 2.10, 2.23.
§3.7 mentions the importance of inspecting idle lines and equipment.
§4.0 All of paragraph 4 lists the requirements of the Pest Management System. For the purpose of this article we will include in the following lines those requirements of AIB that are different from the other protocols mentioned above. AIB goes steps beyond the most famous food safety protocols and it becomes THE protocol with emphasis on IPM. Here are the requirements that are really extra:
• Use a specialist on Pest Biology to conduct an audit annually.
• Frequency of monthly assessments at a minimum.
• A list of approved chemicals, prior to use and notification upon changes.
• A list of the registration number of each IPM specialist entering the buildings or record of their training log.
• The IPM provider shall demonstrate a certificate of insurance that specifies the liability coverage.
• All pesticide labels and MSDS shall be available and in the local language.
• Certificates of applications shall include product name, registration number, target pest, rate of application, location of application, method, amount used, date, time and applicator name and signature.
• Pesticides shall be controlled when are on site in a locking area, according to label instructions, in the original containers, with warning signs, they are disposed properly and spill control procedures are applied.
• The pest-sighting log or reporting system shall be available to facility personnel.
• Rodent monitoring devices shall be placed in the exterior at intervals of 15-30m. These stations shall be locking and the bait inside shall be secured.
• In rodent monitoring devices that are placed in the interior, toxic bait shall not used and the devices may be placed at 6–12 m intervals.
• Insect light traps shall be placed in a way that they do not attract insects to the open food lines and are placed at least 3m away from food contact surfaces. These traps shall use shatter-resistant bulbs and shall be inspected on a weekly basis. The insects caught shall be recognized and quantified.
• On Pheromone traps the insects caught shall be recognized and quantified.
If a method is used for the control of birds or other wildlife, then is shall be explained.
• The facility must eliminate any rodent activity and the effectiveness of the IPM system is proved by the lack of activity.
• In the design of equipment or lines, the avoidance of pest infestation and harborage shall be taken into consideration.
Pest Management is a serious prerequisite program and shall be designed and maintained with respect to the details.