Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Peanuts and Paper Trails

This story is just too relevant to the daily news and the pest control industry not to pass on. Dahleen Glanton, with the Chicago Tribune, reported this week on sanitary conditions and pest problems at the Peanut Corporation of America in Blakely, GA. According to the article, Georgia state inspectors found repeated cleanliness problems at the plant from 2006 to 2008, including grease and food buildup and gaps in doors that could allow rodents to enter. According to workers, not a day went by that they didn't see roaches or rats in the facility.

I don't know who will ultimately be found responsible, but the whole stinky mess has me wondering about the sanitation reporting system at the plant. I can guarantee that lawyers will be looking for paper trails as soon as they can. And if the plant had a contracted pest management company, I sure hope they did a good job of documenting problems to both lower and upper management levels of the company. If not, the reputation, not to mention the bank account of the pest control company could be in as much hot water as the plant management.

How's your sanitation reporting system? Are your service technicians conscientious about reporting sanitation lapses? If you're a service manager don't assume that those service tickets with inspection reports get to the people who need to know. Encourage your staff to let you know when sanitation reports appear to be getting ignored by a commercial customer. It might be worth your time to call the owner or plant manager to let them know when there seems to be a sanitation problem that makes your job more difficult. In this case someone's mistakes sickened 500 people and killed eight.

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