One of the first steps that food plant owners and managers can take to control pests is to create a written Sacramento rodent control program. This program outlines minimum guidelines for implementation of IPM strategies as a means of prevention. Remove or neutralize all pest harborage, attractants, and breeding places within all buildings and property so that facilities and property may be pest free. Any signs or evidence of pests, whether young or mature, in or on all buildings or property and regardless of proximity to food products and processing, will be considered a potential for contamination. A well- written pest control program must include at a minimum, the elements considered in the following subsections.
Management Commitment and Responsibility
The responsibility for implementation and enforcement of the pest control program will lie with the local plant management. Plant management will identify an individual, by name, who will be the specific employee to coordinate the local pest control program. This individual should maintain a valid pest control license. All plant personnel are to be trained to observe, note, and report all signs of pests. Plant quality assurance personnel are to monitor, advice, and guide management as to pest control practices and findings. The plant may want to identify other departments, such as sanitation or maintenance, and their specific responsibilities.
Definition of Pests and Inspection and Reports
Pests are defined as follows for the purposes of this policy, but not limited to, all rats, mice and rodents, all insects, all birds, and vermin. Signs of pest activity are defined for the purposes of this policy, but not limited to, live pests, dead pests, rodent droppings or urine trails, footprints or tracks, nests or evidence of roosting, and evidence of feeding or gnawing. Again, the plant may want to include pests specific to its region. The plant plan should identify facility and grounds monitoring on a predetermined basis (ideally, weekly). The inspection is intended to identify evidence of pest activity as detailed earlier. Inspection should include the outside of the facility, including the roof, the inside of the facility, and all pest control devices. Sticky boards bait stations, catch-all traps, and insect electrocutors are to be inspected at least twice a month. A record of findings should be prepared and submitted to the plant management that identifies all findings of facility condition or pest activity that require corrective action. Signs of pest activity are to be entered in a pest-sighting log â€” a permanent record of all pest sightings. The findings report and sighting log shall include actions taken to correct findings from the prior report as well as their effectiveness. If a Sacramento rodent control operator is utilized, he or she will check the sighting log during every service call.
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