Pest Management: A Basic Prerequisite Program for Food Safety
Pest management is a basic prerequisite program expected of all food processors. It is addressed in government regulations, global standards, and guidelines such as Codex Alimentarius and the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Standard. In this column Stier discusses the basic steps to establishing and maintaining a successful pest management program. One significant gap in many food processing, handling, and warehouse operations is that the operation does not establish basic expectations when it comes to pest management. To close this gap, processors must clearly define what they expect of their pest management program and communicate those expectations to the pest control operator with whom they have contracted. The company should also establish guidelines to address the basic goals of its pest management program. The program needs to be properly designed and managed to protect customers and products. One key is verification: is the pest management program working as designed? Regular reviews are needed to verify what has been done well and what could be done better.