The Food Act requires that each food premises has effective pest control measures. This is not a new concept - the significance of pests in the food industry has long been understood and appreciated. Pest control is an inescapable part of any food safety and HACCP considerations that a food business may make.
The following outlines some of the more common situations which will have to be managed by the pest control industry:
• the need for a clear explanation to management of the food business about the treatments to be carried out and agreement reached about their suitability, location, potential for causing food hazard and any action which may need to be taken by the food business
• the need for clear advice to the management of the food business about the types of pests identified and their possible effect on food safety
• restrictions on use of materials restrictions on entry times to food business
• regular and systematic cleaning by the food business could make it more difficult to detect, trace and identify pests possible destruction of chemical treatments by cleaning materials
• need to account for all preparations when any specific treatment is completed
• documentation and record keeping
Much of this is not new to the pest control industry especially to those who operate with or are familiar with Integrated Pest Management and the safe use of hazardous chemicals. HACCP and the safe use of chemicals require documented work processes, so it means that most pest controllers are already aware of systematic controls. Therefore HACCP should present few problems conceptually to the pest control industry.
The pest control industry should see HACCP Certification as an opportunity to work in partnership with the food industry. By making both industries aware of each other’s priorities and systems, it will prove to be a positive benefit for the consumer by the production of safer food.
Food Safety Plus offers HACCP certification for the Pest Management Industry.