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Pests have a huge impact on food businesses. In the catering and hospitality sector, they can potentially come into contact with surfaces, ingredients or storage areas and spread pathogens.
The situation is equally challenging in food logistics and warehousing, where multiple-entry storage facilities are vulnerable to pests. Or in food processing, where pests cause costly contamination of raw materials, infest clean machinery and severely disrupt production processes.
So how do you address pest issues, whilst also remaining compliant with food safety principles in high dependency environments in the process?
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is the internationally recognised framework for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food – pests included. The hazards HACCP covers include biological, chemical or physical hazards, which can be caused by pests which infest establishments and become a potential source of microbiological and physical hazards.
Having a framework like HACCP to follow is a great benefit for businesses seeking guidance on this challenging area.
Pest control products with HACCP certification need to demonstrate compliance with food safety principles in their product design and operation. The review process to achieve certification is carried out by food safety technologists, who perform a rigorous review of every aspect of each product, covering:
Materials and specifications - identifying food safety hazards relating to formulation of the product and its design
Toxicity - looking at mammalian toxicity alongside potential human allergies
Contamination risks - examining whether measures are in place to prevent contamination through packaging design, labelling and delivery methods
Operating / user instructions - making sure users have clear instructions relating to application method, dilution areas and protecting food areas
Consequences of error - ensuring users are aware of the impact of incorrect use of products, such as incorrect product selection and application method
Batch and process controls - looking at traceability and accessibility of batch records for reviewing product quality issues
Packaging and labelling - testing whether packaging is fit for purpose and prevents the likelihood for spillage or overdosing
This level of assessment is extremely thorough. The advantage for food businesses is that they know certified products are compliant and fit for purpose.
At Rentokil we’re very familiar with this process because we recently went through it to achieve HACCP International Certification for four products in our rodent control range. These include Rentokil Fluorescent Tracking Gel, Rentokil Non-tox (i.e. non-toxic) Indicator Blocks, Rentokil Non-tox Paste, and Rentokil RADAR, our connected technology solution for rat control.
This means that food businesses can also be sure that these products are suitable for use in food handling areas such as kitchens, production and processing areas.
Rentokil Fluorescent Tracking Gel is a non-toxic, non-drying gel that bonds to rodents as they move around and then falls them off them, leaving a trail that is clearly visible under the beam of a UV light. The solution is an ideal tool for the investigation of rodent movements, allowing technicians to get a better understanding of the situation and place bait and monitoring stations more effectively.
RADAR (Rodent Activated Detection and Riddance) is an effective solution utilising CO2 as a humane and non-toxic solution for the control of mice, detecting, capturing and isolating mice efficiently and hygienically.
RADAR is designed for businesses with zero tolerance to pests and where conventional poison baiting is not allowed for safety reasons, such as the food industry, pharmaceutical plants manufacturing plants and healthcare facilities.
We understand the financial and reputational risk a potential pest problem can cause for our customers. Ensuring our solutions exceed criteria set by regulatory bodies gives them added reassurance that their operations can safely and successfully continue.