Many flying insects are disease-carrying menaces, carrying a host of dangerous organisms. Each has the potential to contaminate the food we eat, putting our health at serious risk.
The control of these menaces is essential wherever food is present from raw material to food service outlets and other sensitive areas.
Flying insect control is a legal requirement in all restaurants, food production and packaging plants it is also a large part of HACCP.
What is HACCP?
HACCP stands for Hazard, Analysis, Critical, Control, Points. HACCP is a food safety programme which was developed during the 1960’s by NASA through collaboration with the Pillsbury Company, with the aim of providing safe food for astronauts on space missions.
Why was HACCP developed?
HACCP was developed to move focus away from assessing food quality against final product tests and customer complaints from food borne illnesses, by identifying and assessing the severity of hazards throughout all stages of production using the seven codex principles of HACCP. The codex principles were outlined in 1997 to standardise and improving the application of HACCP.
By identifying hazards, food manufacturers can implement measures to minimise or eliminate hazards at critical stages in production. Before implementing a HACCP programme, food manufacturers should have a number of policies in place to prevent hazards, for example, a pest control policy, personal hygiene policy and calibration and equipment testing procedure etc.
From 1 January 2006 the regulations relating to HACCP in the UK, and other European Countries were extended with the introduction of regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs. Additional requirements of this new legislation requires food manufacturers to implement procedures to verify that measures they have implemented are working effectively and keep documentation and records to back this up1.
Outside of the UK and EU, whilst HACCP is not regulatory, it is still the accepted standard for businesses involved in the food market.
The 7 Principles of HACCP
- Principle 1 - Identify Hazards
- Principle 2 - Critical Control Points
- Principle 3 - Critical Limits
- Principle 4 - Monitor Critical Control Points
- Principle 5 - Establish corrective actions
- Principle 6 - Establishing Verification Procedures
- Principle 7 - Establish effective record keeping documentation
Why implement a HACCP plan?
- Promote culture of food safety amongst all staff with a heavy focus on identifying and preventing hazards from contaminating food
- HACCP assesses and prioritises potential hazards clearly and identifies how they should be controlled
- Avoids the likelihood of customers getting food poisoning
- Helps prevent customer complaints through the production of safe food
- HACCP promotes record keeping and documentation which demonstrate that the business is producing safe food and exercising due diligence
- Compliance with the law for European Businesses
- Internationally recognised and accepted standard
How do insect light traps fit in with HACCP?
It is widely known that flying insects can be carriers of bacteria and viruses that can introduce disease at all points within the food chain. As part of the HACCP process, to minimise microbiological hazards posed from flying insects an effective flying insect control strategy is essential. The key tool used for this is a “HACCP compliant” insect light trap.
The traditional thinking of an insect light trap only being used to control flies is an outdated approach. Insect light traps or ILTs can be used to undertake effective hazard identification, to provide on-going monitoring of critical control points and verify the success of corrective actions – three of the key areas within the HACCP program.
Hazard Identification - It is important to understand what the source of the flying insect infestation is. Using an ILT with control board technology will allow the species type, volume, and distribution of flying insects caught to be identified allowing the root cause of the problem to be discovered.
On-going monitoring of critical control points - Regularly monitoring the control board of the ILT will allow the continued recognition of flying insect species type, volume and distribution of flying insects caught against critical control limits set for the specific environment. If critical control limits are exceeded targeted and specific control actions can be undertaken reducing the reliance upon non-targeted chemical applications.
Verifying the success of corrective action - After using corrective action to treat an infestation, the ILT can be used to monitor levels of flying insects against critical control levels through regular checking of the control board to ensure that critical control levels have not been exceeded.
Control Flying Insects - Monitoring insect light traps on a regular basis, will allow early identification of hazards which will allow corrective actions to be implemented to prevent further infestations
About Brandenburg UK Ltd’s range:
As the leading manufacturer of insect light traps, Brandenburg UK Ltd has a wide range of products suitable for all food industry applications. Our range is dominated by HACCP friendly units featuring grid marked control board technology. The focus of our range is on performance efficacy for professional application and we use the latest technology to ensure effective operation, even in the most sensitive of environments. Click on the products section of our website to find out which product is most appropriate for your situation or use the enquiry form for some further advice.