We've got a bit of a conundrum. As you can see in the pictures, our ceiling joists sit on top of the cinder block wall, then extend back to the corrugated metal "skin" around the building's exterior. This effectively creates a "shelf" of sorts, roughly 6 inches deep and about 5 or 6 inches high.
My boss has had two food industry experts tell him he should fill it in somehow to prevent pest harborage. I'm not so convinced.
I look at the irregularity of the space and cannot imagine how we could fill that gap (which goes all the way around the ceiling, obviously) in such a way that we actually don't create an even WORSE pest harborage, such as having small cracks/crevices and open pockets of space behind, where pests would LOVE to hide.
In my mind, the best course of action here is to actually leave it completely open, as-is, and acknowledge it in our Sanitation and Pest Control programs. We can then establish regular schedules for inspection, cleaning, and appropriate pest control.
I realize that it's not ideal. I've even thought about how we might be able to create a slope to the ledge, but I'm not sure that is even very feasible.
Thoughts from any of you who have dealt with similar situations? Or anyone with auditing experience who can give me the auditor's perspective on this?
FYI, we are not third-party accredited (only FSMA compliant), and we are producing grain products in a dry processing environment, no RTE products.
Thanks in advance!!