Pest can infiltrate the food supply chain from numerous entry points during the food processing cycle and it is a mandatory requirement to uphold stringent measures in preventing any potential food safety incidents.
The implementation of a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) programme and a sound partnership with the pest controller will save business cost in the long term. Utilising proper monitoring tools to trace pest management records from farm to table will also provide support to enhance supply chain risk management.
Pests are a high risk threat in the food processing cycle especially in the raw materials storage area, food production zones, packaging and loading area. They can cause damage by contaminating raw materials and food products with their droppings, urine and skin shedding. During the food supply chain cycle, better risk mitigation provides ample time for pest to be detected before reaching consumers preventing potential losses. Worst scenario would be, product recall may happen and the company’s reputation can be tarnished resulting in loss of trust for the brand.
Deficiencies in pest management throughout the food supply chain can be disastrous for the food quality. This could be prevented with a comprehensive integrated pest management programme (IPM). IPM is a concept that revolves on pest management being a holistic and proactive approach compared to conventional reactive pest control treatment. Sanitation, pest exclusion and maintenance of the structural integrity of the building all play a vital part in the reduction of pest activity. These would help to decrease heavy reliance of pesticides usage in solving pest problems.
Identifying a pest control partner with global expertise that understands the phases of the supply chain risk management is imperative. This will provide a road map from which technical or business priorities can be acknowledged to execute relevant integrated pest management strategies. A comprehensive integrated pest management programme can only look nice on paper if it is not routinely monitored, reviewed and adjusted to ensure it is improved and functioning as planned. For that reason, a solid partnership will need to be forged between the company and pest controller to ensure consistent alignment on the strategies and efforts.
Managing Director of Rentokil Initial (M) Sdn Bhd, Carol Lam said “We believe that key to an exceptional partnership is to keep communication transparent with frequent sharing of best practices, further improvements can be achieved.”