From Farm to Fork: Preventing Pest Infestations in the Food Supply Chain

Family of three grocery shopping

Among the myriad safety challenges in the food supply industry, one persistent threat lurks in the shadows: pests. These tiny intruders can wreak havoc on your facility and tarnish your reputation if not handled diligently. An infestation—or just the presence of certain pests—can result in mass food spoilage, failed food safety inspections and damage to your bottom line.

Beyond your business, the repercussions can cascade down the supply chain, affecting partners and consumers alike. Thus, implementing robust pest control measures is necessary to safeguard your operations, prevent pest infestations in the food supply chain and preserve trust in the industry. Here, we share some crucial strategies to fortify your defenses against pest infestation.

Establish an Integrated Pest Management Plan

Conduct a thorough assessment of your facility to identify potential entry points, vulnerable areas and existing pest hotspots. Then develop an integrated pest management plan tailored to your specific operation, encompassing preventive measures, monitoring protocols and response strategies. Regularly review and update the plan to adapt to evolving challenges and regulations.

Professional help is often required. Our experts can design a customized pest management program to comply with your particular standards and help ensure you pass food safety audits required by various food safety regimens and conducted by third-party auditors.

Implement Stringent Hygiene Practices

Maintaining impeccable cleanliness is the cornerstone of pest prevention. This includes:

  • Enforcing strict hygiene protocols throughout your facility, including sanitation of equipment, proper waste disposal and regular cleaning of storage areas.
  • Educating employees about the importance of hygiene and providing ongoing reminders and training to look for and report any signs of pest activity promptly.
  • Segregating any compromised product immediately to avoid spreading pests.

Secure Packaging and Storage

Proper packaging and storage protocols go a long way staving off pest issues. Strategies include:

  • Investing in pest-proof packaging materials to minimize the risk of contamination during transit and storage, and sealing containers tightly.
  • Storing products off the ground to reduce potential hiding spots.
  • Inspecting incoming shipments for signs of pest activity, such as live or dead insects, product damage, holes in packaging, droppings, webbing or casings.
  • Verifying that outgoing packages are properly sealed and undamaged before transport.
  • Ensuring supplies aren’t sitting outside or on loading docks for too long.
  • Instituting a “no-prop” door policy to prevent pests from entering the building during service and deliveries.

Employ Technology and Innovation

When inspecting your facility, our service technicians employ the latest innovations for data collection. They scan your barcoded pest management devices during each service and manually enter information, such as pesticide usage, rodenticide usage or sanitation deficiencies.

When you access the report through our online portal, the information is accurate and detailed, including service time and duration, the areas and/or devices inspected, actions taken, relevant findings and deficiencies.

Maintain Regulatory Compliance

Regimens for food supply pest audits are ever evolving, and it’s essential to stay abreast of relevant regulations and industry standards. Our technicians, supervisors and managers attend continuing education classes to stay on top of federal, state and local pest control audit developments for the food chain.

We offer a pre-audit inspection to help ensure you attain the highest possible score on the pest management portions of third-party audits. We’ll run through our pest control audit checklist, which includes checking pest control inspection form sighting logs, trend reports, documentation and licenses, certificates of insurance, labels and safety data sheets and much more. We can even have one of our techs available to accompany your auditor on the day of the audit.

Vigilance Is Key

Preventing pest infestations in the food supply chain demands a proactive and multi-faceted approach that spans from farm to fork. Our licensed, certified, insured and trained service technicians can implement robust pest management practices to mitigate your facility’s risk of infestation, in addition to offering rapid, effective elimination services. Reach out to talk about how we can help.