Uninvited consumers: defending food production plants from hungry pests

Pests are tenacious, sneaky and prolific and have a strong survival instinct, which makes a foolproof plan hard to come by. Food processing and manufacturing facilities are prime locations for infestation of pests such as cockroaches, flies, rodents, moths and beetles; therefore, every effort must be taken to ensure these pests are kept out, especially as the public and governing bodies demand transparency and strict food safety regulations.

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Integrated pest management

For a food production plant to survive, a comprehensive and integrated pest management (IPM) programme must be adopted. Addressing crucial factors such as sanitation, documentation, pest exclusion and elimination and – above all – understanding your specific site and its unique risks and ensuring all employees are involved in the prevention efforts are essential for survival.

IPM involves a comprehensive approach towards understanding pests, how they interact with their environment, the risks they pose, and employing treatment methods and common sense practices to concentrate efforts on excluding and eliminating pests. With effective IPM in place, food production plants can manage pests economically and with the least possible danger to the environment, property and people.

This responsible and modern approach coordinates both technological and management practices to control pests in a safe, economical and environmentally-sound manner. It minimises the use of pesticides while maximising control over pests that are detrimental to public health and impede operations.

The focus is on preventative measures, reducing the environmental conditions that appeal to pests. An assessment and analysis of the food production site and its processes that attract pests is the starting point of IPM. Based on this data, a specialist IPM provider will design and initiate a programme to address sanitation and facility maintenance and will implement ongoing monitoring and actions to help reduce pest prevalence.

Cleaning

Daily cleaning must be scheduled for areas that attract pests, while other areas should be cleaned weekly or monthly. If your food production area has been infested, consider investing in used food processing machines from companies such as http://www.clarke-fussells.co.uk/.

A fresh and comprehensive approach will ensure your plant reaches the standards required by law, while educating, training and involving employees is the most cost-effective way in which to ensure your food plant is kept clean and pest free.

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Tahir Ismail has designed Peacepark.us to allow guest bloggers to post their unique, interesting and informative content for peace park readers. He does blogging himself and contributes to several blogs including peacepark.us

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