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There's no question that the nature of the grocery industry demands the most stringent standards of quality and hygiene. In this environment, having customers see pest activity and contamination of food from pests is simply unacceptable. As a result, grocery stores have the critical need to remain vigilant and maintain careful records ensuring that pest activity doesn't have a negative impact on public health, or their businesses and reputations.
Traditional paper-based methods for documenting pest control activities as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program often result in cumbersome logbooks containing a large number of documents, including inspection tickets, inspector recommendations, chemical specifications, authorized product lists and inspector certifications, to name a few.
Because of the sheer size of these paper-based logbooks, it can be difficult to find particular documents needed for a health or food safety inspection, as well as to systematically track actions taken as a result of pest inspection results and recommendations. The process is further complicated when multiple site locations are involved, which is often the case for larger grocery chains or those that experience unplanned growth. Additionally, the possibility exists for documents to be misplaced or destroyed.
At the heart of an effective IPM program is the interaction, communication and cooperation that takes place between the grocery store management and the pest management provider, which is one of the main reasons that moving from a paper-based logbook to an online pest management system can deliver huge benefits.
Fortunately, new communication and document management technologies are changing the way pest management programs are managed in the industry. Implementing an online pest management reporting system can go a long way toward enhancing an IPM program and reducing the burden of maintaining pest management records.