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Miss Tammy

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 08:06 PM

Hello Friends,


We are having issues with Confused Flour Beetles, and decided a visit to our flour supplier would be in order.  We are a bakery and receive multiple bulk loads daily.  I am not coducting a full Food Safety Audit, but would like some advice on questions I should ask.  I plan to look at their HACCP plan, Pest Control records and sifter tailing records.  A simple template with questions related to this type of operation would be great as I know KNOTHING about what they do.  Any flour experts out there that could help???

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 03:29 AM

I would also spend my time looking at the actual process to see if you can see any of the beetles.  Look for trail marks in any spilt flour around the back of machinery, around window sills, on floor areas and pipework.

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Mike Green

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:40 AM

I'm not a flour expert at all


But IMO as well as looking at the cleanliness of the plant & any pest control procedures- it might be worth exploring how long the flour is stored after milling, before it is dispatched to you?


(My understanding is that it takes around 7 weeks for an egg to hatch , go through the larval stage & become an  (egg laying) adult)-so the longer it is stored before you get it -the bigger the potential problem!



I may sound like a complete idiot...but actually there are a couple of bits missing


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Posted 17 September 2014 - 07:32 PM

Miss Tammy,


I am sorry I don't have a template (I could use one as well) I would suggest that you ask to see tanker cleaning records and procedures and the fill ports and hoppers on the mill side of things. The spike we saw at our facility in Confused flour beetles also lead us to the mill, problem is the mill may have given them to you but once they are in a silo they are not an easy thing to eradicate. Thank goodness they don't fly.



Edited by jamesdlm, 17 September 2014 - 07:32 PM.


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Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:02 AM

Yeah, you'll want to look at pheromone monitoring stations - they should be placed radially around areas beetles have been found initially, then hone in on the source of the infestation.  If they are storing product open that's another big problem ,or have doors to the outside open.


Like others have said, trails are a big indicator - they'll be on the racks, on top of electrical boxes, as HACCP mentor says on pipes & window sills.  If you get a chance to go in a boom/scissor lift you can look at the overheads - though that would be downright evil of you :)  If they have drop ceiling those are another good place to look


Mostly when you look at equipment look for yellowed flour - and always ask for LOTO before you look in equipment.  If the flour is dark & hard or clumping they aren't cleaning it enough.  Feet where equipment meet the floor, beneath mezzanines, if they have bucket conveyors, etc.  

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Mr. Incognito

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:35 PM

Some questions real quick:


Are you coming to audit my mill? lol  J/k


We don't use pheromone traps here so they may not as well.  Everyone has given you good advice though.  Look for trails and look in the tailings.  The problem is the bugs you are receiving aren't in the tailings... they are in the product. 


Check their loading procedures and paperwork for the bulk loads.  Question employees that are bulk loading what they look for and what to do if they see anything before they seal the hatch on the bulk load.


Ask for preventative maintenance records on their sifters including the rebolt sifter (should be the sifter before they load out a bulk truck) which could possibly be a CP or a CCP (screen integrity).  Ask to see their pest sighting log.  If they don't have ANYTHING for confused flour beetles they are lying.


The truth of the matter is that there are going to be CFB's in that mill.  The question is if they are doing anything to take care of them.  That's going to be a combination of their pest control program and possibly an outside fumigation company (not always the same company).  Ask them if they used any CFB assay's when they have a fumigation.  Our last fumigation our new milling superintendent put out some CFB assay's and found that while all of the beetles in the mill were killed none of the ones in the cleaning house or the tunnel were killed (they are just flour beetles in a package that can't get out but air (and fumigant) can get in.  If they are alive after fumigation then something wasn't done right.  We had them come back and do it again.  If they aren't performing that test then they aren't doing their due diligence.


How long, in days, is the trip for the flour from the mill to your plant?


If I can think of anything else I'll post more.


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Posted 11 February 2015 - 08:55 PM

My apologies for the delayed response - I only just stumbled across this message and thought I'd share my thoughts:


In my experience the area's that I always focus my attention on when seeing beetles are around the following at the mill:


1. Bulk tailings will indicate a spike or increased bug activity - I would definetly want to review those records for each of "my" bulk loads over the last say month to establish if there is a spike in bugs.

2. I'd also like to find out the rotation for empyting flour bins completley. How is this verified empty - through a visual inspection or through load cells? Not getting a good empty rotation on bins can be a harborage point for bugs.

2. Does the mill have an internal Pest Management team sometimes referred to as Integrated pest management (IPM) for the control of beetles. Basically I'd want to ensure that the mill is traking/trending bugs and bug activity to be able to proactively address through effective sanitation the control of beetles before it becomes a full blown explosion.

4. Is there sanitaion or IPM program effective? Tour the mill and look for dust accumulation on overheads, tops of sifters, ledges, cracks & crevices - flour beetles can live and breed in about 1/4" of flour accumulation!

5. Find out when the last fumigation was conducted. Did the mill get a good kill using the beetle cards metioned in earler post.


Unfortunatly, if you take bulk flour loads and your seeing them past your sifters into your process they are likely already in your bin. The only thing you can do to eradicate them is to completeldy empty your bin and have it cleaned - a very expensive propostion. However, if you can collect enough data to support that the beetles are coming from the mill then I would suggest that they at least split the cost of cleaning, maybe suggest they pay for the entire cleaning depending on how bad the infestation is. If an infestation is present then beetles will be seen with regularly and in consistent quantities on your end. I few beetles here and there is no way indicative of a serious problem.

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