How FSMA Impacts the Pest Control Industry

How FSMA Impacts the Pest Control Industry

McCloud Pest Invasion 2017 addressed key food safety topics, trends, best practices.

June 1, 2017

McCloud Services pest management company headquartered in South Elgin, Ill., hosted its annual Pest Invasion food industry pest management seminar in April, which was attended by nearly 350 pest management, environmental health, and food safety professional. As one of the few pest management seminars with a focus entirely on the food industry, McCloud Services announced some key takeaways from the event.

The central theme of Pest Invasion 2017 revolved around food safety and critical issues surrounding the food industry. Experts presented information on exclusion and sanitation, FDA regulations, foodborne illness and important components of a food safety program and pest management. Key takeaways from conference presentations include:


Food Safety Trends

Michael Doyle, Regents professor of food microbiology, University of Georgia:

Doyle presented information regarding the value of whole genome sequencing (WGS) and WGS data bases in the early detection of foodborne illness outbreaks. The CDC and state public health departments are now able to detect and uncover sources of foodborne illnesses much more easily and faster than five or 10 years ago. Some of the recent cases which were detected and benefited from the whole genome sequencing program for Listeria included those involving caramel apples, Karovan cheese, and Blue Bell Ice Cream. CDC is examining 30-60 potential outbreaks per day based on data being generated. Doyle also discussed the concerns over food imports and food safety implications of these imports as well as consumer demands for chemical-free foods and the unintended consequences of these consumer demands. He discussed aquaculture practices in southeast Asia and the use of human and other animal wastes in feeding fish and shrimp in these countries. Concerns regarding antibiotic resistance and heavy metal contamination of soil are also important issues in this region. Regarding the chemical phobias, he reviewed several cases where preservatives were removed from food products based on public risk perceptions. The removal of the preservatives lead to food safety issues. Examples of preservative removal and some unintended costs included mold in juice and recalls of cheese and bacon for premature spoilage concerns. (Download Food Safety Trends.)


Exclusion: The Future of Pest Management

Matt Frye, New York State IPM Program, Cornell University

Frye discussed some of the important reasons why rodent control programs are critical from a public health and food safety perspective. A rodent’s ability to transmit disease may remain in the environment even after the rodents have gone. Pathogens like Salmonella can remain viable in rodent fecal pellets for as long as 86 days. Frye also stressed the importance of profiling your rodent populations through identification of species, gender and age. An adult male house mouse in a trap may mean a recent introduction where a juvenile may signify interior breeding populations. Deer mice are more likely be present because of exterior pest pressures versus the common house mouse. A careful analysis of traps can be beneficial in developing and modifying rodent control programs to reflect what the pest captures are indicating. Lastly, Frye called for all rodent control professionals to think about long-term solutions instead of short term, temporary control efforts. As captured rodents are found in traps, we need to do more than perform the role of “checknician.” Instead, we need to do root cause analysis examining why the pests are present and address those conditions. (Download Exclusion: The Future of Pest Management.)


Complying with FSMA Food Defense Rules

by Craig Henry, food safety consultant, Intro. Inc

Henry reviewed the compliance requirements under FSMA for food defense and the strategies needed to prevent the deliberate contamination of food by internal or external forces. Included in his discussion were some of the reasons for the inclusion of food defense requirements under FSMA and the basics of a program plan. A food defense program must address 3 main elements of prevention, response and recovery. In developing a plan, the food processor must assess vulnerabilities, evaluate mitigation strategies, document the food defense plan, and implement focused strategies to mitigate the vulnerabilities. Documentation will be a large component of compliance and it is estimated that 80% of FSMA-based FDA audits will focus on documentation. Henry also mentioned that it will take FDA 10-20 years to fully implement all the components of FSMA, and we may see some auditors who will specialize in different components of FSMA. Because of the magnitude of the regulations, it may be too challenging for a single auditor to have the expertise needed in all the elements of compliance.

(Download Complying with FSMA Food Defense Rules.)


If you Build It Wrong, They Will Come

By Ed Hosoda, vice president, Cardinal Professional Products;

Hosoda emphasized the chemical and non-chemical tools which may be required to remedy a pest problem which results from poor building design. Included in his presentation was information regarding the use of fumigants, space treatments, and residual insecticide applications. He also provided some key tips on efficacy of different pesticides on pests including the use of insect growth regulators (IGRs). Insect growth regulators containing the active ingredient, pyriproxyfen, are very effective on book lice or psocids. Lastly, the insect growth regulator active ingredient, methoprene is compatible with a DDVP mixture and can provide increased efficacy against stored product pests. Not all IGR’ can be mixed directly with DDVP. (Download If You Build It Wrong, They Will Come.)


If You Build It Right, They Won’t Come – Pest Prevention and Monitoring

Linda Mason, assistant dean and professor of entomology, Purdue University

Mason discussed the importance of building design, building maintenance, and monitoring for insects as part of a total pest management program. She reviewed the conditions necessary for pest survival and how human behaviors can contribute to pest survival. In addition, if we do not practice proper product inventory management, we can allow pests to build populations over time. If we can reduce the required elements for survival, we can keep pest issues to a minimum. Two studies were also presented on the implications that poor sanitation, in providing pests easy access to food, can have on our programs. (Download the Presentation: If You Build It Right, They Won’t Come.


How FSMA Impacts the Pest Control Industry

John Rightor, food safety professional, AIB International.

As an auditor, Rightor presented information on common findings during AIB audits and their rankings as part of the discussion of FSMA compliance. Pest management was listed as one of the top five common unsatisfactory findings. Within the pest management category, pest habitats and pesticide control violations were the most common inaccuracies found. To help avoid audit deductions and comply with FSMA, the pest management program must be based on a solid risk assessment of the site and the use of available science to make program decisions. It is also important to understand that the pest management program must evolve and change as necessary to meet site needs. The program is not static and must change as risks change. (Download How FSMA Impacts the Pest Control Industry.)


McCloud Services is a leader in integrated pest management solutions, serving the food supply chain of custody, health care, hospitality, property management, retail industries and residential markets. With a foundation of 113 years of industry and market experience, McCloud carries out its mission to protect food, human health, and the environment while ensuring the safety of its employees and the public. McCloud is a regional service provider with locations in 11 states. For more information, visit