Latest UK pest control and management news for professionals

02 September 2021

Bad may actually be good, says food industry auditor


When it comes to audits within food premises, bad may actually be good. This surprising statement comes from AIB international food auditor Thomas Auer, during his recent interview with Daniel Schröer, host of the online Talking Pest Management series.


Based in Germany, Mr Auer explains how an audit or inspection should not be viewed negatively.

“Our role is to help clients. To show them where their problems are and to work on them together before anything, such as a recall situation, arises.”

He says that often a ‘bad’ audit is in effect a ‘good’ audit as it spots problems before they become significant.

Pest control is an important part within an AIB audit and of the five chapters within an audit, each scoring 200 points, pest control has its own Integrated Pest Management (IPM) chapter.

Auer explains the scoring system where IPM has always scoring highly – even if the service is contracted out he makes the point that someone from within the company must be appropriately trained.

At AIB, the audits he undertakes fall into three categories as specified by the client; fully announced in advance, announced to management or totally unannounced.

His activities are truly international as not only do his audits cover most of Europe, but he also has responsibility for a global client that takes him all over the world.

Cleaning and proofing

Auer stresses that cleaning and also proofing, is most important. “Chemicals without cleaning are useless,” he exclaims.

AIB uses a system known as ICE – Identify, Control and Eliminate the problem. Maybe uniquely, AIB does not allow toxic (nor non toxic) bait within a facility for fear of undiscovered dead rodents.

Mechanical traps are favoured as their activity is obvious. Increasingly he sees the use of remote monitoring digital traps, although this does require something of a cultural shift.

And the future.....

As for the future, Auer sees sustainability as important, but a good compromise has to be achieved, saying: “The solution needs to be green but also efficient. It’s no use just protecting the environment. We need to protect our food.”

As a company, AIB originated in the baking industry, founded in the US in 1919 and was originally called the American Institute of Baking, but is now simply known as AIB. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA began doing factory inspections.

This resulted in customers demanding how to prepare for these audits, so leading to the creation of the AIB standard. This is not GFSI recognised – meaning AIB can also consult and make recommendations to their company clients.

Today, there are over 100 auditors helping companies in over 120 countries in their quest to produce safe and healthy food in a wide variety of food production industries – all the way from farm to fork.

The interview can be listened to on the Talking Pest Management website


TPM is a series of topical interviews with leaders in our industry. Find out more.

Back to news