According to research conducted by Time Magazine poor pest control was the 5th highest reason for foodborne illness in the restaurant sector.
Food premises are very attractive to a pest, because your establishment will contain everything they need, such as: food, warmth, moisture, and shelter. If they get in, they’ll be like a kid in a candy store, causing all sorts of problems for your business.
Here are the main problems and some best practices for you to keep in mind.
4 Main Type of Pests
Pests fall under 4 main groups, these are:
- Insects such as flies, moths, ants, cockroaches and wasps
- Stored product pests such as beetles, termites and weevils
- Rats, mice and racoons
Here are some best practices to implement regularly to keep pests out and stop them from contaminating your food.
Clean as you go
Don’t give pests a sniff, just clean as you go! If you keep a clean workplace there will be a much lower chance of having a pest problem.
Clean as you go should be the motto for you and all of your staff – don’t give pests a chance to find food, so if you spill some food make sure it’s cleaned up immediately!
Pest proof your building
It’s also important to pest proof your building overall, this can sometimes be called denial of access – if you pest proof your building you will make it much less likely for pests to be able to gain access insider your building.
Regularly inspect the building to check for evidence of pests. This ensures that you catch pests that might be hiding in your kitchen before they become too much of a nuisance.
Make sure you check deliveries carefully - some pests have entered food premises in packaging, vegetables, fruit, cereals and grain.
Use proper food storage practices
Check stored goods regularly and rotate stock. Store food off the floor in suitable containers and keep food covered at all times to avoid pests getting in.
Don’t leave food out overnight
Never leave food in the preparation area when you are closed or overnight. This will just attract pests who could get into the food.
Report signs of pests
Report any sighting or signs of pests to your supervisor immediately. Signs include:
- Damaged, torn, pierced or gnawed packaging
- Dead pest sightings
- Gnaw marks
- Unusual odors
- Unusual noise.
Keep trash contained
Having food waste out and open attracts pests into your facility. Store food waste in trash containers with securely fitting lids.
Keep doors and windows closed
Don’t give pests an easy way to enter your kitchen. Keep doors and windows closed unless you have correctly fitting screens.
What to do if you find pests
However, if the worst happens and you do get a pest in your premise, don’t wait, contact, they will eliminate any pests.
We recommend the use of PCO, as they are the experts.
Learn more about pest control best practices by taking our food handlers training.