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Pest control in the food industry - prevention is better than cure.

Pest Control in the Food Industry - Prevention is Better than Cure

The Problem

Pest infestation is a real headache, especially within the food industry. The nooks and crannies of plant machiner provide irresistible food and harbourage for a wide range of pest species.

Pest activity has widespread implications. Not just in terms of damage to stored product and equipmet (rats can chew clean through heavy duty electrical cabling, for example). Consider the legal perspective. The Food Safety Act 1990, for example, is putting pressure on your customers to vet you for due diligence in respect of 'all things hygiene.'

Rodents are the most prolific of these pests. They will eat anything, including packaging, sacking, the products themselves and are often the most difficult to keep out of a building.

Stored product insects, such as rice beetles, flour beetles and weevils also cause contamination. The number of pests that can invade a site is incredible, a specialist monitoring and prevention plan is the only way to ensure that your products and premises are safe.

The Solution

NPC Services Ltd - perhaps more familiar as National Pest Control - have channelled their energies into developing and refining a system of effective control, which is 'user friendly' and reasonably priced, called the Special Reporting Services (SRS).

NPC are specialists in tailoring pest control systems to the specific nees of individual clients - especially within the food industry - and SRS is a prime example. In a nutshell, it is a comprehensive, all-inclusive monitoring and action system designed to detect te very earliest signs of potential rodent and insect infestation in large food and related areas - and stop it before it starts.

Quite a claim, given the nature of the problem, but NPC support it with outstanding results.

Designed to strict food industry specification, after close consultation and guidance from clients, SRS is an ideal example of 'due diligence'under the Food Safety Act 1990. Emphasis is placed on the use of specially designed rodent and non toxic crawling insect monitors, to safeguard food hygiene. Under SRS, the whole site is protected, including production, warehouses, offices and the perimeter.

Regular visits, conducted at a frequency to suit the needs of the client and submission of detailed written reports, allow NPC to communicate the facts about on-site pest activity, action taken and suggested additional measures. This also includes advice on how the client can make his own effective contribution, with improvements to proofing, hygiene and housekeeping.

Instruction and information is also provided to the clients' own staff to improve awareness of basic pest control principles, at no extra cost.

John Gibson, managing director of NPC says; "The first principle, without question, is 'prevention is better than cure'. The key to this is close monitoring and inspection. Timely detection of pest activity is essential, as is correct identification. This requires a combination of human skill and modern detection systems. Our tehnicians' training is designed to broaden their vision, to equip them with all the observational skills and deductive reasoning of a first class detective. That is why SRS is so effective."

NPC's intensive, continuous inspection has succeeded in minimising pest infestation, and their technical skill is backed by excellent pest monitoring systems.

The Equipment

Tamper-resistant, lockable bait boxes

Nicknamed Merlin, this new bait box was developed following intensive research into rodent behaviour, which revealed that rodents, being curious creatures, like to approach dark, confined structures. Merlin also features another tested rodent preference - a unique internal 'maze' that quickly guides the rodent to the bait. Merlin's unique design, in conjuction with powerful 'one bite' bait, makes it one of the most effective methods of eradicating rodents.

Contamination of food products and risk of the staff poisoning are eliminated by the strong, tamper-resistant double-lock. For extra protection, bait is firmly secured within the box and won't roll or tip out. The extremely sturdy polypropylene construction, protects Merlin from water damage or crushing, so allowing a wider choice of sitings to be used.

Mantis Crawling Insect Monitor

With over 1500 species of insect pest in the UK, correct identification is vital before effective treatment can be administered. Mantis attracts insects from every direction via its unique, sloping access on all four sides. An interior pitfall on to a powerful adhesive pad traps and holds them until an NPC technician calls. Its low profile allows it to be positioned easily under plant and equipment, the most popular hiding place for invading insects.

Insectron Ultra Violet Flying

Insect Control Equipment

Insectron Series 400 and Series 200 ultra violet fly control equipment gives unbeatable protection against all UK species of flying insect. It features exceptionally powerful ultra violet attraction combined with safety 'sleeves' over the glass tubes, so making it suitable for use in large interiors areas within the food and related industries-especially storage and warehousing.

Forty watt UV-A tubes provide a powerful ultra violet 'lure', attracting insects over a wider area. This means that fewer units are needed to cover large areas compared with conventional models.

The Series 400 uses four forty watt UV-A tubes, and attracts flying insects over 400 sq m. The 200 has two tubes and an effective range of 200sq m.

Insectron complies with international food safety regulations by featuring 'glass breakage protection'. A protective plastics sleeve completely encases each UV tube, safely containing breakage without any risk of glass contamination.

The catch tray has a specially designed one-way collection funnel that prevents dead insects being blown out of the tray by draughts. Instead they are concealed, safely and hygienically, until the tray is removed for cleaning.

The catch tray is quickly and easily unclipped and detached from below, for removal of dead insects, and the grids lift off for cleaning and access to UV-A tubes.

High quality stainless steel wire grid, matt stainless steel panels and a sturdy white plastics catch tray create an attractive until that will complement existing stainless steel equipment and simply wipes clean.

NPC provide a range of cleaning and maintenance programmes to suit the individual client needs. These always include annual tube replacement but are tailor made to include requirements including, for example, fly 'counts', to analyze the contents of each catch tray.

Pheromone Moth Traps

The Pheromone Moth Trap is a modern, non insecticidal system, now considered to be the most effective method of detecting moth presence. It is capable of monitoring very low levels of infestation over large areas.

Venus Fly Traps

Named after the plant, Venus Fly Traps are another non insecticidal range, effective against all UK species of flying insect. A non toxic pheromone and food attractant lures flies into a non toxic liquid where they remain, out of harm's way, until a technician calls.

The People

NPC place a lot of emphasis on the skill of their technicians. Each is involved in a rigorous ongoing training programme that continues throughout his or her entire career, to ensure that they are always up to date with the most advanced products and equipment in the industry.

NPC were the first UK pest control company to train technicians 'in-house' for candidature to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) technical proficiency examination - the officially recognised qualification for the industry. In 1988, NPC became the first UK pest control company ever to win the Department of Employment National Training Award for the quality and effectiveness of their training. This provides authoritative independent endorsement of NPC's technical and service quality. Consequently, every single technician must sit and pass the BPCA examination.

Many members of their head office staff have also passed the examination to ensure they speak from experience when dealing with clients,

Noelyn Stephens, sales director of NPC comments; "The SRS is a top specification blueprint for pest prevention within the food industry. It is flexible enough to incorporate each individual clients needs,enough to incorporate each individual clients needs, whilst retaining consistent quality.

We offer clients expertise, products and more importantly our advice. To make SRS work effectively, the client has a valuable role to play too. By working together, we maximise our chances of achieving a totally pest-free environment."

PHOTO : A typical Monitoring Point

PHOTO : One of the latest Insectron units
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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