Understand how SPP infest


November 25, 2020

Dr. Stuart Mitchell

Dr. Stuart Mitchell, BCE, Technical Director, PestWest USA

Is it first-in, first-out (FIFO), or last-in, first-out (LIFO)?

Pest management professionals (PMPs) understand the food production chain, but in pursuit of stored product pest (SPP), the trick is to use that understanding to their benefit. So, understand that from production to processing; distribution to restaurant or retail; restaurant to foodservice workers; or retail to home cooks; SPP seek to best infest.

A recent study1 suggests adaptive behavior of SPP leads to an increased risk of food adulteration in the food production chain. The study concluded that Indianmeal moths (IMM) in particular can quickly infest unprotected food, as well as perforated food packaging. It also concluded that a solvent-free barrier film known as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) offered better protection than other packaging.

For PMPs, it’s not enough for pest control to protect food during processing; it must also protect food through sale and storage. By creating detailed and documented inspections of food product storage, PMPs can assure that organizational cleaning and proper food product rotation are in practice.

Be sure of proper food product storage: For example, packaging should be at least 18 inches from the walls as well as off the floor. And as to my question earlier about FIFO or LIFO? Well, either works — as long as one inspects what one is trying to protect.

Journal of Food Science Technology (July 2019) 56(7):3293–3299. DOI.org/10.1007/s13197-019-03799-2


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