Let’s take a journey in the imagination. Picture your largest food processing account (or, if you work at a food processing facility rather than for a pest management company, think of your facility). Now picture an auditor – AIB, SQF, BRC, your choice – showing up and doing a surprise audit.
Did your pulse just speed up? Your stomach tighten? Or are you sitting there, saying, “Eh? No big deal!”
If you were in the former category of response, then this blog is for you.
Your food processing facilities should be kept in a state called audit ready. What this means is that, if you are suddenly surprised with an audit, you don’t have to do any additional prep work to make sure you pass the pest control portion of the audit: you are always ready for an audit.
This also means no more marathon clean ups on the account the day before an audit. It’s still wise to do a check to make sure everything is indeed audit ready, and nothing has been overlooked, but that is still a far cry from the days of spending hours scraping traps clean, replacing bait, and trying to correct months of errors in the logbook.
Here’s an action plan for making your accounts audit ready. If you work for a food processing facility, tell your pest management company that you want to be audit ready, and then use this list to audit their work.
- Are interior rodent traps clean, with no build-up of debris?
- Are insect light traps functional, with fresh glue board? Are there spare glue boards for the client in case of a surprise outbreak of pests or a random audit?
- Are the lures on pheromone traps being changed according to the intervals recommended by their manufacturer? Is the sticky material on the traps still tacky?
- Are exterior rodent stations affixed down?
- Are exterior rodent stations clean?
- Does the rodenticide in exterior stations appear fresh, or is it faded, moldy, or fed upon? Does the client have a key so he can check on the bait himself? (And if the exterior stations don’t need a key, then, well, we need to have a talk.)
- Is the logbook up-to-date, filled out at each service, and does it include all the information required by the type of audit? (If you don’t know what they require, give them a call. It varies based upon the type of audit.)
- Is equipment being checked at the interval required by the type of audit? Also, is the right amount of equipment out, according to the type of audit?
- Is the equipment being check enough to keep pests out of the facility? Also, is there enough equipment out?
Keeping your account audit ready not only protects you against surprise audits, but it also helps prevent salespeople from the competition from finding problems in your work and trying to leverage them to take your account.
This winter, as work slows down, take advantage of the additional time in the day to work on your accounts to get them audit ready, and then throughout the year, continuously work to keep them that way.