Wherever there are humans there will be pests. Pests love to follow humans, as we provide them with a ready source of food. Often pests are attracted to outdoor disposal bins, before heading indoors to warmth and a ready access of food. If you’re running a GMP production facility then you’ll need to take pest control seriously.
Pest Control Is Part of GMP
Pest control is one aspect of GMP, particularly if you’re making dietary supplements or cannabis consumables. Pests can not only contaminate food but also they harbor a variety of microorganisms that can affect the quality of your final product. These may include bacteria, fungi, viruses, helminths, and protozoa. These can potentially lead to harm for your staff and your consumers.
Pests can also shed fur or hair, feathers, feces and urine, or bring nesting materials indoors. They can also damage your inventory and containers. This is why it’s so important to not only practice preventive measures against pests, but to address any pest-related problems immediately.
Pest Control Legislation
All countries around the world require food processing plants to control pests. They must take proper hygiene measures to keep pests from invading the facility, and to protect ingredients, supplies, and materials from pest invasion.
Pest Control in Food and Pharma Facilities
It’s no secret that pest control chemicals can be harsh and poisonous. For this reason, it’s important to find a knowledgeable pest control contractor who is licensed to provide pest control for food and drug facilities.
Your pest control company will help you find solutions that match your company mission. If your company chooses to use natural alternatives to more conventional methods, your pest control company will help you identify those and implement them effectively.
Pest Control Systems
In the USA, the HARPC is a specific system used for GMP. HARPC stands for Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls. The first steps involve an evaluation of your facility to set a pest control system in place.
- Your pest control expert will examine your operations and identify the most critical points for food safety. This may include your external supply chain too, as contaminated materials and supplies can potentially infest a previously pest-free plant.
- The most efficient pest control procedures will be implemented and repeated on a scheduled basis.
- Pest action may be recorded at specific times of the year to ensure that the pest control remains effective.
- Pest control systems will be reviewed regularly to continue determining effectiveness. Possible changes may need to be implemented.
Pest Control Documentation
Pest control systems must have documentation in place to ensure the system is effective and any problem areas are addressed. Documents that your company will need in their pest control system include:
- Pest control trap map
- List of chemicals used
- Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for all chemicals used
- Certification information from the pest control company
- A written agreement with the pest control company which outlines the contract, including the services provided and the intervals of upkeep
- A list of pest sightings and actions taken
Choosing the Best Pest Control Solution
If you’re running a cannabis production facility then you’ll need to hire a professional pest management company to tackle this problem for you. Even something as simple as choosing the right chemicals to treat for pests may play a factor in your facility. Food plants must take particular care that the chemicals that are used won’t compromise the integrity of the products they sell.
When you call for quotes for pest management in your food production facility, you’ll need to find a company that practices an IPM—Integrated Pest Management program. This involves the inspection, identification, and treatment of pests. It must comply with accredited food standard and government legislations.
Pests are not something you like to admit can affect your production facility, but they can impact the quality of your product. It’s not something you can ignore, and the last thing you want is for your plant to be shut down after a surprise inspection.