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#1 Irishlass105

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 09:02 AM

Hi guys,

 

Recently joined a smaller company which was a big change from a large world wide organisation. I am used to rodents and finding them being taken very seriously which isnt the case in my new position. I have seen several mice within the last few days and this morning two which were dead at our entry of the factory and one in the factory itself. We are a company that packs eggs and naturally the eggs can attract the mice and more so as they can come in from the farms which is out of our control as a packing centre. As this is so common for the senior management they dont seem to mind them being in the factory as long as external auditors dont come across them. I have operatives hoovering up blue pills around the factory every day and checking myself to ensure there is nothing to be found as we are due unannounced audits from major retailers. Our pest control officer who we contract fixes the paperwork up to suit the site to show we dont have any issues...This seriously bothers me.. Any advice?

 

Thanks!


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#2 GMO

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 11:55 AM

It would seriously bother me too.  It is one thing having a reason for activity but falsification of paperwork which is your legal, due diligence defence is wrong.  I've worked in bakery in the past in an interim role and it's notorious for pest issues. 

 

At a first point, I'd talk to the pest contractor and ask them to report reality.  This may put you at odds with management, however, if they are openly, in writing prepared to admonish you for telling a pest contractor to do their job properly, then that would be a communication to save for if / when you decide to leave / are pushed due to the fact you have integrity.  (Sorry I'm a realist here...)  Next, I would be having the pest contractor in for a call out visit because of what you've found and I would accompany everything they do.  I would set breakback traps inside (these need to be checked very regularly, daily I think) and possibly glue boards (need to be checked every 12 hours).  I would check proofing issues.  If they are coming in with the eggs, why?  Can you unload the eggs in a dedicated area so they don't get inside the factory?  How are the farmers storing the eggs before transport?  Can that be improved? 

 

Be warned, don't assume that it is an ingredient issue (or only an ingredient issue).  I've known many people do that and regret it later.  Work on the ingredient but check the plant thoroughly.  Are there any gaps into cavity walls?  (They only need to be the width of a pencil to be big enough.)  Check all dimensions, not just walls, voids, but check above too.  If you have CCTV or could use a webcam, gopro or similar, might be worth setting up a camera at night to find out where they're coming from.  Tracking powder can also be useful and mouse wee can be picked up on a UV torch too. 

 

My gut feel is you have them or still have them coming in with the eggs but probably also have an infestation.  There is no point the management sticking their heads in the sand about it, if it's not addressed, it will only get worse.  If you have the money, Acheta are a good company to get in but charge a fair whack.  One of your retailers finds it though...  Your business will be at risk as you will probably lose that retailer.  BRC or an EHO finds a mouse running over their shoe?  Your business will temporarily or permanently close.  :eekout:


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#3 RMAV

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 12:39 PM

Look up Jack Decoster, look up PCA (Peanut Corporation of America).  I don't know about the UK, but in the US these days, you'll go to jail.  Even the QA Mgr got time in PCA.


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#4 Irishlass105

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 01:03 PM

It would seriously bother me too.  It is one thing having a reason for activity but falsification of paperwork which is your legal, due diligence defence is wrong.  I've worked in bakery in the past in an interim role and it's notorious for pest issues. 

 

At a first point, I'd talk to the pest contractor and ask them to report reality.  This may put you at odds with management, however, if they are openly, in writing prepared to admonish you for telling a pest contractor to do their job properly, then that would be a communication to save for if / when you decide to leave / are pushed due to the fact you have integrity.  (Sorry I'm a realist here...)  Next, I would be having the pest contractor in for a call out visit because of what you've found and I would accompany everything they do.  I would set breakback traps inside (these need to be checked very regularly, daily I think) and possibly glue boards (need to be checked every 12 hours).  I would check proofing issues.  If they are coming in with the eggs, why?  Can you unload the eggs in a dedicated area so they don't get inside the factory?  How are the farmers storing the eggs before transport?  Can that be improved? 

 

Be warned, don't assume that it is an ingredient issue (or only an ingredient issue).  I've known many people do that and regret it later.  Work on the ingredient but check the plant thoroughly.  Are there any gaps into cavity walls?  (They only need to be the width of a pencil to be big enough.)  Check all dimensions, not just walls, voids, but check above too.  If you have CCTV or could use a webcam, gopro or similar, might be worth setting up a camera at night to find out where they're coming from.  Tracking powder can also be useful and mouse wee can be picked up on a UV torch too. 

 

My gut feel is you have them or still have them coming in with the eggs but probably also have an infestation.  There is no point the management sticking their heads in the sand about it, if it's not addressed, it will only get worse.  If you have the money, Acheta are a good company to get in but charge a fair whack.  One of your retailers finds it though...  Your business will be at risk as you will probably lose that retailer.  BRC or an EHO finds a mouse running over their shoe?  Your business will temporarily or permanently close.  :eekout:

The farms place all eggs after being farm stamped onto key trays which are left in an egg store and collected by company transform within a day or two. Within these few days mice seem to find shelter in the key traps and once unloaded on site come out from hiding. One issue is that the eggs are unloaded directly onto a machine to start the process of packing. 

 

We have traps throughout the site but no break backs like we had in my previous job which I checked every day and then called our external firm if there were any findings. I completed a pest control audit yesterday and have found some traps not numbered or missing which is my excuse to get him back in this week and give him a bit of a grilling. He was in a few weeks ago but as i was still settling in and hadnt reached the pest control yet I didnt have much to ask him at the time. 

 

An issue which isnt helping too is they factory guys are very bad at closing doors behind them, can be left open for 30mins which doesnt seem long but a lot can blow in in that time. The QAM position has been empty for nearly 6 months with production not reinforcing these kind of issues so i am currently playing catch up and getting issues like this addressed. 


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#5 gud2ya

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 02:57 PM

No matter how you hide these pests, it will be obvious to auditors since they don't need actual physical sighting to determine if you have a pest problem or not.


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#6 Irishlass105

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 03:02 PM

I have been in contact with our pest contractor since this morning. He is arriving to site in the morning and placing extra traps throughout the site but mainly break backs which I will check each day along with a UV light allowing me to check for smear markings which will hopefully help me determine if it is just farms or an internal issue due to building structure. 

 

Farm auditor and contractor also beginning to visit our producers to check the pest proofing of the egg stores on their site. As we have a lot of free range farms, which have direct open doors for the hens to freely move in and out of the houses between laying, you can see how mice can get access to our trays and moved to the packing centre easily. 

 

I do believe mice will always be an area of focus for a business of this nature, i just need to ensure its a site that needs close monitoring, not a site with infestations!


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#7 mile

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 08:05 AM

Hi Irishlass105,

 

Now the time of truth.

 

First u must change pest contractor immediately and search for new trust one

 

review and check your pest control plan for any breach

 

Ask new pest control company to give awareness session to your team and workers in plant about important of pest control program for Food facilities

 

Good Luck

 

Ahmed 


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#8 MWidra

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 01:54 PM

My first impulse was to say......RUN!!!!!!!

 

But you seem to have made some progress.  Maybe having a talk with upper management showing that the pest control contractor needs to step up his game, that you can make great strides without spending a lot of money, and that just educating the workers and having the farms on the same page will change a large portion of the situation.

 

After they see the improvement with limited work/expense, then they will be more prone to supporting you if there are other changes you want to make.  But showing how things are better are key to getting rid of the acceptance of a pest-infested site.

 

You're doing good, just remember that Rome was not built in a day, and that it will move forward by baby steps.

 

Martha


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#9 Labucknall

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 09:16 PM

You are the right track with your approach. 

 

You can discuss with management your concerns with the Pest Control contractor and suggest giving them a time period to comply with your action plan before you have them removed, cause they probably don't even know they doing something wrong. 

 

For doors not being closed, its really pains taking at times getting some production personnel to do comply with a simple thing as shutting a door, so speak to your GM about the either automatic doors or installation of door closing devices. 

 


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#10 RMAV

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 12:50 PM

"Our pest control officer who we contract fixes the paperwork up to suit the site to show we dont have any issues."

 

There's some great advice in this thread.  Just so the above quote doesn't get lost in the discussion: the falsification problem needs fixed yesterday. 


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#11 redfox

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 10:33 PM

Hello Irish,

 

Your worst difficulties is not just the pest alone but also your Senior Management's commitment. Without their support all is nothing. You cant put the bull down with a pellet gun. Safety cant be handled by an individual but it's a team efforts.

 

Have you conducted audit on your suppliers site? There you can find something which may reduce or eliminate your problem. Using chemical to eradicate the mice infestation must the last option.

 

P-revention(GMP)

E-xclusion(GMP)

S-anitation(SSOP)

T-reatment (if the above 3 is functional, this is not needed)

 

You have to give constant pressure to the management for them to give their support.

 

regards,

redfox,


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#12 GMO

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 03:01 PM

"Our pest control officer who we contract fixes the paperwork up to suit the site to show we dont have any issues."

 

There's some great advice in this thread.  Just so the above quote doesn't get lost in the discussion: the falsification problem needs fixed yesterday. 

 

This!  Absolutely.  A gentle chat with the contractor to remind him that, some day, he may be forced to defend those records in court.  Imagine if an EHO came in and found evidence of extensive nesting, obviously in place for weeks if not months and the pest contractor's records said "nothing to see here".  At best their competence will be called into question, at worst, well reality I guess that they were faking the results.  If there is no evidence that he was asked by management to do this, which if they're sensible there won't be, it's the pest contractor who would then be hauled over the coals...


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#13 SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 01:30 PM

Have worked with a number of bakeries, kinda a favorite category for us. In any event there really is no reason for mice.

 

You should fire your pest control company because they are not doing their job and hire a solid company, which means you may need to pay more for one that is compliant with your requirements.


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#14 Irishlass105

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 01:50 PM

Can happily say the issue is now under control. I raised this in the management meeting stating my concerns and obviously the implications it would have on our buisness if this is not addressed and taken more serious.

 

Since then the following has happened;

  •  
  • a pest sighting log has been put in place for all employees to use to inform management of issues
  • pest contractor has completed a monthly routine check and completed the correct findings
  • break back traps have been put in place - at the start they were all full every day, mainly at intake area as I had assumed that was the biggest issue for us and turned out it was. Currently moving them around every few days if nothing has been caught to ensure all areas are covered and currently have had no sightings for over 2 weeks and nothing in the traps since Friday past (think things are under control)
  • our employed auditor is raising issues at the farms themselves and passing the information to myself so we can send our contractor out to ensure areas of concern can become pest proofed

 

and i think a big thing - possibly for me in a new role... The other senior management can and have seen how a small change can make a difference (nobody likes change) and see that I have the best interests at heart and know what I am talking about (most of the time)

 

:giggle:


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#15 GMO

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:43 PM

Well done!!!!!!!!  Fantastic news!  I'd keep going because 2 weeks clear isn't massive but it's certainly progress, congratulations, that's great news.


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#16 redfox

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 05:08 AM

Hello Irish,

 

Great achievement from your team. Change is really not good if it is not favorable on your side. Let accept the fact that mostly if not all, that the burden of the food safety team is to get the support of the senior management. 

 

regards,

redfox


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#17 LeahBruce

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:08 AM

As you said that your senior management they do not seem to mind them, so I think you should consult with them about this issue. Tell your boss that rodents can spread quickly from one unit to the next and can cause serious problems to the factory as well as to human beings. Tell your senior management to change pest contractor immediately and hire a pest controller, at your work place who can immediately help your factory to get rid of rodent infestation because the climax of pest problems can act a real threat to the financial well- being of the owner of your company.

Like, my brother was also having the same issue of rodent infestation which has created paranoia and confrontations among workers who blame each other for poor hygiene. Then immediately his boss had called up their local
Exterminator Fairfield CT service where the exterminators had provided rodents extermination methods to kill all the rodents permanently.
 


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