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Setting the Standard for Food Safety and Pest Management Solutions

Introduction to Clostridium Perfringens

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Have a touch of diarrhea and some stomach cramps several hours after finishing a meal? You may be suffering from a Clostridium Perfringens infection. Clostridium perfringens bacteria are one of the most common causes of foodborne illness (food poisoning). CDC estimates these bacteria cause nearly 1 million illnesses in the United States each and every year. C. perfringens can be found on raw meat and poultry, in the intestines of animals, and in the environment itself.

Common sources of C. perfringens infection include meat, poultry, gravies, and other foods cooked in large batches and held at an unsafe temperature. Outbreaks tend to happen in places that serve large groups of people, such as hospitals, school cafeterias, prisons, and nursing homes, and at events with catered food. C. perfringens outbreaks occur most often in November and December. Many of these outbreaks have been linked to foods commonly served during the holidays, such as turkey and roast beef.

Most people with C. perfringens infection develop diarrhea and stomach cramps within 6 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food. The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. This infection usually does not cause fever or vomiting, and it cannot be passed from one person to another. Proper time and temperature controls are essential in preventing such infections. (More information is available at


Submitted by: Rich Gibson ACE, CFSQA

The Maize Weevil

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Order: Coleoptera Family: Curculionidae Genus: Sitophilus Species: S. zeamais

The maize weevil has a length of 2.3 mm to 4.9 mm. The type of food consumed by the larvae influences the size of the adult. This small, brown weevil has four reddish-brown spots on the wing covers (elytra). It has a long, thin snout, and geniculate (elbowed) antennae. Sitophilus zeamais appears similar to the rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae), but has more clearly marked spots on the wing covers, and is usually somewhat larger, It is able to fly.

The maize weevil and the rice weevil look very much alike but external features can be used to differentiate the vast majority of adults. However, the only reliable features to distinguish adults of both species are on the genitalia. Both species can hybridize. This pest occurs throughout warm, humid regions around the world, especially in locations where maize (corn) is grown. Females can lay 300 to 400 eggs typically one per cavity. Larvae develop through several stages (instars) inside the grain kernels and also pupate inside the kernel.

Removal of infested materials and the basic steps of Integrated Pest Management is often the first steps in control without the use of chemicals. The only way to completely control these pests is through the practice of fumigation. Since it is an internal pest, residual control will only kill exposed adults. To kill the internal stages (larval and pupal), you must fumigate. Heating grain to 140˚F can kill larvae, however, this may decrease germination and baking quality of flour.

Submitted by: Rich Gibson, ACE, CFSQA

Bell Remote Sensing with the Trapper 24/7 Devices Improved Effectiveness of IPM Program

As this new technology continues to evolve, it is time to revisit this topic. Recently one of the larger clients of RK Environmental Services was having German cockroach pressure in several areas of the facility. A detailed assessment of the IPM program was performed and key areas of activity identified and a corrective action plan proposed. The corrective action plan called for an expansion of the existing number of service hours and or service frequency to allow for proper inspection/treatment of hot zones. The client was reluctant to commit to additional service hours on a long-term basis as a resolution.

Solution – the Bell remote Sensing system. The trapper remote sensing system was presented to the client as a tool to achieve the goals of allowing for more of the standard service visit being allocated to deep inspections of the facility with only a One- Time investment to upgrade the existing rodent devices to the remote sensing system and a nominal monthly system fee.

Details – During the service visit utilizing standard rodent monitoring devices a large percent of the time on site was spent inspecting/servicing these devices approximately 50% of each hour. Example three of the four weekly services per month would have four hours freed up. Since at this facility and at most facilities the vast majority of rodent devices have zero activity that 50% of each service hour was being spend on a necessary task that did not really target the German roach activity.


  • Corrective Action – RKE presented the Bell system to the client and explained how this system would achieve the following IPM goals:
  • Remote sensing rodent devices automatically relay information if any units had catches
  • Freed up 50% of each service hour without any exposure / quality assurance concerns from uninspected devices
  • Allows for the service hours (50% more) of service visits reallocated to inspecting / treating pest activity. This has allowed the service specialist to deliver a more effective program.
  • Overall result was approximately 12 more hours per month in additional service hours per visit while avoiding standard hourly investment.


  • Take Away Tips:
  • The remote sensing system makes us of Bluetooth technology to communicate specific traps that may have had a rodent catch with existing handhelds via a licensed app
  • The system freed up a significant % of each service hour for reallocation to inspections/treatments without any reduction in service quality standards
  • Actual effectiveness of IPM program was improved through targeted reallocation of time on the job

Submitted by: Ricardo John, ACE
Regional Operations manager

RK Environmental Services, LLC