How lasers revolutionize biosecurity in the food processing industry?
Biosecurity is a set of measures taken to protect a facility against the spread of diseases through pests, such as birds1. Most food processing facilities need to implement biosecurity measures to adhere to strict laws and regulations to pass regular health inspections. This can be a losing battle if pest birds nest or roost near the facilities.
Pest birds are a frequent threat to food processing facilities, contaminating the product, spreading diseases, and damaging the structure of the facility. These facilities can lose a lot of money from the consequences of birds.
Biosecurity practices prevent health risks
The presence of birds poses a serious risk to a company’s reputation as they are often the cause of contamination to stock, the manufacturing process, and the health and safety of the employees.
The most concerning health risks come from bird droppings because they are a place for disease organisms to grow as the droppings are high in nutrients. The feathers and debris that build up over time from birds roosting can bring external parasites, which can cause health risks for employees. Therefore bird droppings should be removed on time.
Loading docks and garbage disposal areas are common places for droppings to form in food processing facilities. These are accessible locations for birds to fly in and out to nest, roost, and forage for food.
How is this affecting your business?
The presence of uric acid in bird droppings can cause damage to the building exteriors by corroding the paint or structure immediately. If bird droppings accumulate and remain for an extended period, they can cause more problematic situations, such as a leak. This can increase the facilities’ labor costs2.
The most common pest birds that occupy food processing facilities are sparrows, pigeons, and starlings. These birds will roost and nest close to covered facilities that have an ample food supply.
Lasers as biosafety measure
Locating all of the entry points is vital to take actions against pest birds. By implementing a biosecurity measure in the spaces that the birds are most likely to enter from, a facility can manage the birds flying in and out.
Another good practice consists of keeping the food processing facility clean, removing leftover food, and regularly removing garbage, can impact the control of pest birds. This is not always possible and effective enough to keep the birds away.
Installation of an automated bird control tool is a biosafety measure that can help food-processing facilities save time and be more cost-efficient.
The automated bird control device can be programmed to run different laser beam projection patterns. This allows food processing facilities to project the laser over targeted areas where birds roost. A lot of biosecurity measures that are implemented to deter birds are not effective over time, so birds tend to return to the area. The bird deterrent laser helps to keep birds away permanently and they do not get habituated to the device.
Once the green laser beam is projected, it will disperse birds immediately. However, for the best results, it is vital to install the bird control tool before the nesting season, to get one step ahead and prevent birds from building their nests in your facilities.
The facility will be able to ensure that they can pass the inspections and stay aligned with the regulations and laws of food safety. They can also protect their employees from the health risks of bird droppings without harming the birds.
- Agricultural Victoria: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/sheep/sheep-notes-newsletters/sheep-notes-autumn-2015/why-is-biosecurity-important
- Food Quality and Safety , 2016, https://www.foodqualityandsafety.com/article/controlling-pesky-birds-in-commercial-food-facilities/?singlepage=1