Accountability in Pest Management


These days, discussions regarding food safety can be noisy and sometimes confusing. One thing everyone agrees on, though, is that food safety professionals should have their house in order when it comes to pest management.

“Facility managers need to make sure someone is following up and following through on the corrective actions needed to keep their pest management plan moving forward,” says Martha Branch, Quality Assurance Auditor for Sprague Pest Solutions. “It’s important to continually manage the process – and not just before your audit is scheduled to take place.”

Auditors require more precise documentation than ever before. Facility managers and their pest management partners need to be able to verify and validate that their pest control programs are effective and that they get the job done.

“Facilities must have their documentation in order for auditors, and it needs to demonstrate that the pest management plans they have are working,” says Branch. “Passing an audit isn’t just about getting a stamp on a piece of paper anymore.”

Branch says facilities should perform a comprehensive risk assessment for pest threats before implementing a pest management program. This assessment includes the following:

  • Past pest history in the facility.
  • Current pest trends or issues.
  • Recommended corrective actions.
  • Preventative measures that can be taken.
  • The physical and cultural environment of the facility.

“Performing an independent risk assessment reflects that a facility’s pest program is verifiable and is working,” says Branch. “Having a fresh set of eyes look at your program and offer constructive recommendations will allow you to better prepare for an audit.”

The risk assessment services the Sprague Pest Experts provide for food processing and other commercial facilities can help determine where pest management protocols can be strengthened and refined. These risk assessments are not limited to GFSI, BRC or SQF audits and include facilities seeking organic certification or LEED design credits.

Branch, who spent the earlier portion of her career as a sanitation manager in the food industry, understands that modern food industry professionals are stretched thin and that their time is a precious commodity. This is why it is imperative to have detailed, thoughtful plans and protocols in place; accountable personnel for each portion of the plan should also be identified in writing.

“Pest management is becoming a bigger part of the audit process. One of the keys to successfully passing an audit is establishing protocols that are verifiable and that demonstrate accountability throughout the process,” says Branch.

Does your Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, or Portland business undergo regular audits? Sprague Pest Solutions offers consultation and professional commercial services to businesses across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain regions. Contact us today for more information.

Food Processing & Manufacturing, Restaurants