Which fumigation method is most effective for your industry? We look at fumigation for the food manufacturing and logistics sectors in this blog post.
At Rentokil, when we refer to fumigation we are referring to inserting a fumigant gas into a closed/sealed structure or container so that the pests or insects within it are completely destroyed. The goods are then safe for either consumption and/or export.
For the purposes of this blog, let’s focus on the importance of fumigation in the food manufacturing and logistics Industry.
Fumigation is predominantly required when exporting goods to ensure that the vessel or container – as well as the commodity that is being exported – is free from any insect or pest activity. This is to both protect the commodity and prevent the ingress of pests into another country.
One pest that is extremely important NOT to transport around the world is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). In previous blog posts we’ve highlighted the strict protocols that New Zealand and Australia have in place for carriers of vehicles and machinery (amongst other goods) in which Stink Bugs find harbourage, and the fumigation protocols in place to ensure that they don’t spread.
Closer to home, fumigation is required for customers whose commodities are prone to stored-product insects (like moths, mites, weevils, beetles). Commodities can become infested and pests are then transferred from the raw product to the completed product, or from product to product if not managed correctly.
For more insight, take a look at our previous blog which covers cross contamination of raw materials and the associated risks. Food commodities like rice, cereal, grains are generally treated with fumigation before shipping.
This huge pest control responsibility lies with the exporter who needs to make sure that the contents being exported have been adequately treated as per the receiving countries requirements and regulations, and have the necessary certification. For the logistics and shipping companies or even freight forwarders it is also important when ISPM15 certification is required.
As well as the actual commodity, all wooden dunnage, pallets, crating, drums, skids, load boards etc that support the commodity within a shipping container or vessel should also be treated using a fumigant like methyl bromide, sulfuryl fluoride (ProFume) or even a heat treatment. Certified proof of fumigation of the commodity itself and the container needs to be provided.
Our treatment options
At Rentokil, we are authorised to use different fumigants depending on the commodity being treated or the type of fumigation carried out. Find out more about our various fumigation treatment options on our website.
Our blog readers may be aware of the fact that the fumigant Methyl Bromide is being phased out internationally. The alternative for certain products is Sulfuryl Fluoride (ProFume) which many industries are introducing.
Where is fumigation required?
If you are in one of the following industries and your fumigation provider is still using Methyl Bromide, it may be of interest to give us a call to discuss the switch to Sulfuryl Fluoride (ProFume):
- Food processors or manufacturers – especially those producing dry bulk foods like cereals, spices, grains, flours or rice, etc
- Food manufacturing machinery is also prone to SPI – an accumulation or build up of product particles could pose a pest problem and if required, the machinery can be fumigated too.
- Warehouses and storage facilities – where goods are prone to SPI
- Freight forwarders and Shipping companies – requiring certification of fumigation
- Exporters of wood logs, wooden items, etc – requiring ISPM15 certification
- Importers – where pest activity has been found in the commodity and fumigation is required
- Moving household contents in a container due to immigration – a fumigation certificate may be required.
Why switch to ProFume now?
The benefit of implementing ProFume early is that smaller dosages of the fumigant are required as there is no built-up pest resistance yet. This means that the treatment is more effective and turnaround times could be reduced. You may even be able to increase your production and despatch – more product equals more profit!
Just like Methyl Bromide there are some restrictions to the use of ProFume which we need to be mindful of and use alternative treatments. Consult with us on how we can support you in the transition from one fumigant to the other.
ProFume penetrates deep into the commodity and leaves no residue, it’s non-corrosive, non-flammable, non-combustible, and will not affect the germination of seeds. It is the global alternative and so much better for our environment than Methyl Bromide.
By implementing this switch sooner rather than later, you have a head start in your market with regards to understanding its capabilities and usage.
Choosing a service provider
We know how daunting it can be when choosing a fumigation service provider – and how appealing a DIY solution may seem, but take a quick look at our infographic to see the 6 most important things to consider regarding Why you need a professional for fumigation.
For some companies Fumigation in transit (FIT) is commonly practiced but we strongly discourage this as it is an extremely dangerous practice. Have all your fumigation in transit questions answered here.
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