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Food Safety News

Managing Pests and Food Safety Together

By Hank Hirsch, B.C.E.

What if you could meet your food safety requirements and improve the effectiveness of your pest management program? You would probably say, “Sign me up!”

Comprehensive Food Safety (CFS) and its parent company, RK Environmental Services, offer its food industry clients a lineup of dual purpose services that allow quality assurance and facility managers to do both. We call it managed solutions.

We work in food industry facilities every day and there are many services beyond traditional pest management that are needed to close the loop on a total food safety program.

As RK Environmental Services highly-trained service professionals perform their duties they look to identify solutions for improving the facility’s overall food safety and pest management programs.

What are managed solutions? They include the following services:

  • Deep cleaning of equipment and facilities, including web removal services
  • Bulk system and silo cleaning
  • Installing door sweeps, brush seals, air curtains, screens, etc.
  • Structural repairs to floors, doors, etc.
  • Drain cleaning and structured fly management programs
  • Bird management
  • Fumigation and decontamination services
  • Nuisance wildlife management

Managed solutions also include CFS’ extensive lineup of food safety consulting services and training courses.

From in-depth HACCP training and best practices for implementation of SQF, BRC and GMP audits to preparing for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) and how to establish a food defense system, knowledge is power when it comes to food safety.

Presenting a managed solution checks multiple boxes on a client’s food safety and pest management “to do lists.” It also adds value. We don’t sell clients things they don’t need but focus on delivering solutions to the issues that keep them up at night.

Bird management is an example of a managed solution that is both a pest management issue as well as a food safety threat. Nuisance birds including sparrows and pigeons among others have garnered significantly more attention from third-party auditors and government inspectors as a result of mandates of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Birds present a unique challenge in commercial facilities since they can easily travel between facilities that are miles apart and deliver harmful bacteria (in their droppings) including listeria, E. coli and salmonella. These threats do not only come from birds inside a structure but can be brought indoors on shipments of unprocessed food, on shipping pallets and containers or even on the soles of an employee’s shoe.

Food safety is comprehensive in nature. Managed solutions support an integrated pest management program (IPM) including sanitation, exclusion, maintenance and cultural practices.

Offering managed solutions makes our client’s food safety and pest management programs more effective. It is not simply a line item cost; it is an investment in your brand, products and people.

Well-run facilities engage all options when it comes to food safety and pest management, and managed solutions provide that.

For innovative solutions to your pest management issues and exceptional customer service, contact RK Environmental Services call 800.996.4402 or

Hank Hirsch is a Board Certified Entomologist and president of RK Environmental Services and Comprehensive Food Safety