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Food Processing Plants

All meat and poultry processing facilities, to prevent infestation, the processor must create a proactive program for stopping these pests from threatening the safety and quality of the product.

The pest control program is a stand-alone program and is also a part of the plant's food safety system.


There is no insect, other than the housefly, that is more easily recognized and detested than the cockroach. Cockroaches have been shown to transmit diseases including pathogenic food borne bacteria such as salmonella, Vibrio cholera, Staphylococcus aureus, and others both in the insect's gut and on its exterior surface. harbor the insects or their eggs cases). This is done by sealing and filling cracks and crevices and maintaining a sealed, smooth surface throughout the plant in production and nonproduction areas. Seal junction boxes, receptacles, and control panels. Seal openings around conduits and pipes where they pass through walls and ceilings. Inspect incoming shipments (packaging, ingredients, etc.) and reject infested shipments. Chemical control requires that EPA permitted insecticides be used in the food plant. These products are generally formulated as sprays, aerosols, or dusts. Dry powders and dusts, such as boric acid and insecticide powders, take advantage of the cockroaches' habit of preening themselves. It is important to understand that no pesticide can be used in a food processing plant unless EPA has approved such use.

Pests of stored products

These primarily include insects that use the food as both nourishment and a habitat. They are usually small insects that infest and destroy foods during all stages of their life cycles. This group includes beetles, weevils, borers, and moths. Stored product pests are not generally associated with disease, as are cockroaches and flies, but they are considered a major food contaminant. As a group, they prefer dry products such as cereal grains and flours, but other foods such as nuts and dried fruits may be infested, as well. Weevils infest stored grain and cause economic losses worldwide. The life cycle for most weevils is four to five months, and they can infest nearly every cereal grain. Flour moths lay their eggs in flour or meal where the larva destroys the product, and they are important grain pests. A variety of beetles can infest foods and food ingredients. These include grain beetles, flour beetles, and others. Prevention: The purchase of quality, pest-free grain and food ingredients is the first step to prevention Regular cleaning of storage areas and processing equipment to remove ingredient spills and accumulated dust is also important. Fumigation of empty storage bins with phosphine, ethylene oxide, or carbonyl sulfide are effective control options for stored product pests. Similarly, fumigation may be used in facilities when processing operations are over for the day.


Rodents include rats and mice. They must be controlled in and around a food plant because rats and mice carry and transmit disease, and they can cause significant economic losses by damaging food containers, contaminating food with rodent droppings, and consuming food. Two major species of rats are found in and around human habitation: the Norway rat and the roof rat. The common mouse species prevalent around human population is the house mouse. Both rats and mice reproduce rapidly, rats having 20 offspring per year and mice up to 35 young per year. Both mammals are primarily nocturnal, but they leave behind several signs of infestation.