June 16, 2020 / Media Mention / Quality Assurance
Supply Chain Pest Control – Eliminating the Impact of COVID-19 Pest Issues
Pat Hottel, technical director for McCloud, contributes to Quality Assurance’s article “Supply Chain Pest Control”
With ingredient and supply chains disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, many food manufacturers that continued operations had to find alternate providers for basic goods on short notice with little assessment. With even FDA postponing foreign and routine facility inspections, there is a likelihood that some less direct food safety parameters, such as pest control, fell through the cracks and were given less consideration — both along supply chains and within the facility itself.
Given the potential long-term consequences of that, what impacts has the pandemic had on pest presence and control? What should food processors and manufacturers require of suppliers — and assess now if they hadn’t before? And what will they need to do to deal with any pandemic-induced pest issues? Following are key points on each from pest management experts.
HOW HAS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IMPACTED PEST PRESENCE OR CONTROL?
Provider restrictions. Many processors have reduced visitor entry. Although regular service visits may be allowed, there has been some mandated reduction in technical and quality visits, and those who are allowed often have their temperatures taken and health checked. A greater emphasis on examining of data available through electronic documentation enabled some remote quality oversight where systems were implemented, and electronic trap monitors equipped with sensors or cameras enabled the collection of information on pest activity. Additionally, hard-to-schedule, specialized services (such as fumigation, ULV space treatments, detailed crack and crevice insecticide applications, and even bird work) were sometimes able to be provided in plants with reduced hours of operation. – McCloud Technical Director Pat Hottel