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Five Ways to Lose Points on Pest Control Audits

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 5:16am
ZIA SIDDIQI, Ph.D., B.C.E., Director of Quality Systems, Orkin LLC, & JIM BAIL, Director of Technical Services, Food Processors Program, NSF

OrkinWith the ever increasing demands of our daily jobs, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of pest management details that can make a big difference during a third-party audit, especially with the current focus on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). That’s why Orkin Commercial Services and NSF International teamed up on www.myauditprep.com — a simple and free web-based tool that counts down the days until your next audit and sends you reminders and tips on important milestone dates.

While developing the tips for www.myauditprep.com, Orkin and NSF inspectors identified five of the most common ways food facilities lose pest control points. With pest control counting for up to 20 percent of a total audit score, be on the lookout for these common but avoidable traps.

1. No documentation of changes to service or materials since contract was signed.
After a contract is signed, it is easy to forget to document changes in service or materials that evolve over time. If any elements of the current service or materials used do not match the original signed contract, be sure you have documentation of the changes and why they were made. It is also a good idea to include a written “roles and responsibilities” list that delineates the responsibilities of plant personnel versus the pest management provider’s personnel.

2. No record of actions taken as a result of the annual pest control assessment.
Your auditor likely requires that an annual facility assessment be performed by your pest management provider. Be sure your records include corrective actions indicated by the assessment AND proof that these corrective actions were actually taken. Not closing this loop properly is a common way to lose points on your third-party audit.

3. Missing proof of training for pest management professionals.
Auditors may require any or all of the following. Your pest management professional may be trained in all of these, but do you have the proof on hand? This is a commonly missing piece.

  1. A copy of the certification or registration document for each person who performs pest management services in the facility, if such certification is required by local regulations.
  2. Written evidence of the IPM service provider’s training in the proper and safe use of pest management materials.
  3. Verification of GMP training for anyone responsible for providing pest management services.

4. Pest sighting and trend reports don’t correspond to corrective actions taken.
Be sure any pest activity recorded in a pest-sighting log and/or in trend reports have corresponding documentation of corrective actions taken to address them. It is common for facilities to lose points for having one without the other.

5. Records of light trap and pheromone trap inspections, but no records of insects found or corrective actions taken.
Auditors typically require all services provided to light and pheromone traps to be documented, including the types and quantities of insects found in light traps. Many facilities omit documentation of the types and quantities of insects found in insect traps. Even if they include this data, they still could lose points if they do not have proof of corrective actions taken based on light trap inspections. Be sure you have documentation of all three: services performed, findings of each service and any actions taken.

Looking for more? Visit www.myauditprep.com and enter the date of your next third-party audit. We’ll send you and anyone else you choose timely pest control reminders that will help you on your path to heightened audit scores.

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