There is nothing more damaging to your reputation and your bottom line than a failure to meet government regulations. A failed inspection can create a public perception that your business is unclean. It can cause you to incur penalties, and lead to a closure. So, what is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looking for? And, what measures do you need to take to prevent a bad report? A recent list of violations compiled by Registrar Corp., an independent compliance firm for the FDA, may shed some light.
Of the over 200 violations reported in 2014, what topped the list of infractions?
1. Lack of Effective Pest Exclusion
In Feb 2015 the FDA published a warning letter sent to a bakery, stating, “Your firm failed to take effective measures to exclude pests from processing areas and to protect against the contamination of food on the premises by pests, as required by 21 CFR 110.35(c). Specifically, our investigators observed numerous incidences of apparent insects and apparent rodent excreta pellets throughout your Production Area…”Exclusion of pests is a primary concern to government inspectors, for good reason. When a facility takes the time to put a proper pest management plan in place, they address the conditions that promote all the violations on this list.
2. Lack of Sanitation Monitoring
All facilities must have a sanitation plan that conforms to FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations. Natural exclusion of pests and a clean facility go hand in hand. If you are taking proper measures to exclude pests, your facility will meet the proper standards.
3. Improper Screening
In the published FDA letter to the above bakery, the FDA also pointed out improper screening as a violation. “Your firm failed to provide adequate screening or other protection against pests, as required by 21 CFR 110.20(b)(7). Specifically, our investigators observed gaps around exit doors located in the Production Area and around loading dock doors.” Inspectors are looking for holes in screening, gaps around edges, and window frames that do not seal. If you can see light coming in, you could have a violation waiting to happen. Sealed windows and doors are a primary focus of pest management.
4. Inadequate Floors, Walls and Ceilings
Inspectors are looking to see that a facility’s construction does not prohibit adequate cleaning and repairs of floors, walls and ceilings. This is another area where a pest management company can help. They inspect walls, floors and ceilings for entry points and make sure that all areas can be properly maintained to resist pests. That means that they are structurally sound and able to be cleaned.
Proper pest management in a commercial facility doesn’t only make it resistant to pests, it can also make it resistant to government violations. Get your pest management plan in place and protect your facility from needless violations.