The Safeway plant, like many food and beverage processing facilities, is vulnerable to infestations by pests looking for food and shelter. A steady flow of shipments into receiving areas and heavy traffic through multiple entrances make the facility an inviting target. In the interest of food safety, Safeway needed a reliable pest management program that would keep pests-and the diseases they carry-away from production lines using least-toxic methods.
Orkin Commercial Services and the Safeway plant began their partnership in February 2003. When representatives from Orkin first met with Safeway, the biggest concern was documentation and communication. Given the considerable size of Safeway's facility, it was imperative that their pest management provider be able to provide detailed reports of pest activity and countermeasures throughout the plant, and communicate any potential vulnerabilities before they became a bigger problem.
A Tailored ProgramOrkin presented its Gold Medal Protection program to Safeway during initial meetings. Gold Medal Protection is specifically designed to meet the strict regulatory environment of the food processing industry, and places a heavy emphasis on quality assurance and documentation.
With Orkin's Gold Medal program, Safeway receives thorough written documentation and verbal communication from its Orkin technician. As the technician makes his weekly rounds throughout the plant, he takes detailed notes on any potential problems. Following his inspection, representatives meet with the technician to discuss any pest control or sanitation concerns. Because Safeway has such a vigilant sanitation program in place, Orkin's technician rarely points out any trouble spots. When he does, Safeway takes immediate action. Between visits, both companies correspond regularly to make sure everything is continuing to run smoothly.
"The communication between our two companies is seamless. When we make recommendations, Safeway responds immediately," said Bob Henry, operations manager for Orkin's Denver Commercial Services branch. "Likewise, when Safeway has a concern, we listen and take action right away."
While communication is always critical, it takes on a new level of significance during challenging times. For example, when Orkin began working with Safeway, the company had a fly program in place that was not entirely effective, for several reasons. The fly lights were outdated, the bulbs had never been changed and the settings were too high.
Orkin recommended a completely revamped fly program, and Safeway responded, installing new fly lights and implementing a system of glow sticks. To ensure the new program would be effective, Orkin representatives met with Safeway's employees to train them on how to monitor for flies in sensitive areas, like shipping and receiving. Since the new fly program was implemented, the fly population has been reduced dramatically.
The Denver Safeway Milk Plant received a 2004 Gold Medal IPM Partner Award from Orkin, The IPM Institute of North America and a national trade magazine for extraordinary dedication to open communication with Orkin's team, thorough documentation of pest sightings and responsiveness to Orkin's IPM recommendations.
"The Safeway plant is such a great partner because the company's quality assurance team is extremely conscientious and responsive," said Henry.
The Orkin team continues to meet with Safeway representatives once a week to ensure the program's ongoing success.
Orkin's Gold Medal Protection for food and beverage processors is a guaranteed, seven-step pest management system that uses a custom-designed program and a comprehensive reporting system that meets or exceeds HACCP, American Institute of Baking, FDA and USDA requirements. For more information call 800/ORKIN-NOW or visit www.orkin.com/commercial.