Case Study: How Not To Do Rodent Control

What would you think of a pest management program that featured rodenticide baits placed on plastic plates next to stored food and rodent feces in food storage coolers? Probably not much and neither would a third-party auditor.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently cited a company that distributes products to Asian restaurants on the East Coast and Midwest for numerous violations where rodents and birds had created dangerous food safety conditions.

Among the violations found at the company’s Pennsylvania-based warehouse were live and dead rodents within the facility and birds “landing and defecating on stored food products.” If that wasn’t bad enough inspectors also found a pallet of pineapples in boxes that served as a rodent nesting site and a path of rodent feces leading to holes in bags of flour.

To add insult to injury the warehouse was so densely packed with bags of food – pallets were stacked two high and six to eight deep over a 3,000 sq. ft. area – that inspectors had a difficult time accessing all locations and identifying the true extent of the facility’s rodent population.

In the FDA’s report the agency also cited the company’s “failure to provide documentation that demonstrated corrective action, certification of actions performed by a licensed exterminator and other actions performed to control unauthorized entrance of pests.”

The takeaway lesson from this extreme situation is that an effective rodent and pest management program is not accomplished in a vacuum. Both the client and pest management provider share the responsibility for ensuring that a well-designed and documented program is established to meet and exceed audit and regulatory standards.

Rodents: Rats & Mice