Development of problem-solving strategies, quality assessment, and quality control standards
Even after excellent diets and efficient rearing systems are developed, things can still go wrong. Furthermore, whatever their purpose, laboratory-reared insects, if they are to be useful, must conform to an established set of standards. To make sure that these purposes are met, rearing system teams develop systems of quality control (QC) and quality assessment (QA). In well-managed insectaries, problem-solving protocols are outgrowths of the QC program, centered on the insectary’s purpose: dependable production of high-quality insects. Well-conceived data sets are collected and monitored for possible deviations from QA characteristics. This point is made clearly in the report from the Joint FAO/IAEA Division group meeting in Vienna (5 to 9 May 1997) on product quality for sterile insect techniques used with mass-reared tephritid fruit flies (Anonymous, 1999b). With such careful record keeping, deviations from quality standards can be diagnosed. Figure 11.1 shows an overview of all the potentially relevant components that can become problems that require problem solving.