How Pest Control Impacts Food Safety in Food Storage Facilities

Pest control for restaurant food safety

The food storage and processing industry has strict regulations and guidelines to follow when it comes to maintaining a clean facility. One failed inspection can cause the entire food facility to shut down since the slightest indication of contamination of food can breed more thousands of pathogens.

Different types of food facilities, like dry-food facilities, liquid-food facilities, food retail, and restaurants, breed different kinds of pests, depending on what sort of food is available for them.

For this reason, it is imperative to consult a commercial pest control service that specializes in providing service to the hospitality industry for specialized services like rodent removal, taking care of flies and ants and other dangerous pests.

Types of Pests That Infiltrate Food Facilities

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are a very common but sadly resilient pest in commercial establishments. They can also cause harmful diseases like Salmonella and Escherichia Coli, which can spread to food and cause life-threatening infections. Cockroaches thrive in cracks and crevices and are attracted to environments where food and moisture are present.

Flies

More than 100 pathogens are associated with common houseflies. Houseflies produce rapidly, and a female housefly can lay up to 500 eggs in its month-long lifespan.

Another type of pest to be worried about is a fruit fly. About ⅛ inches long, this red-eyed fly is attracted to sweet and sticky food. These pests lay their eggs near fermenting foods or moist, organic material. They lay around 500 eggs and go from being a larve to a fully-grown adult in a week.

Both fruit flies and houseflies are nuisance pests and contaminate food with disease-producing organisms, which could lead to illnesses among your customers.

Rodents

Rodents can cause a nightmare in a food facility and can cause a substantial loss to your business. Not only can rats spread really bad diseases through rodent feces, urine and saliva, they can also chew the insulation around wires and eat through the wood to cause structural damage around the property.

Rat dander and shed hair can also cause allergic reactions in people. If this is the case, it should be the first thing on your mind and should take necessary steps for rodent control.

Ants

Ants can enter storage facilities through tiniest openings and nest out in walls, storage rooms—ants can get into any building. Once they invade a building, they leave an invisible trail of pheromones for others in their colony to follow. They can invade any food source and effectively destroy it by contamination.

Birds

You might not think birds can be included in a list of pests that cause problems in the hospitality industry unless you own a food facility. Depending on the season, birds might be looking for a place to nest and might end up contaminating food items and cause a major health risk with their bird droppings.

Most food facilities are scared about how pest control involves toxic chemicals, which can contaminate the food products at the facility. Instead, another approach to treating infestations is Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is customized for places with large amounts of food. IPM takes the life cycle of the pest into account and takes a call on the amount of pesticide to be used after considering the setting. Plus, the pesticides used are eco-friendly and also organic.

4-Step Process for Integrated Pest Management

Setting Pest Thresholds

The first part of the integrated pest management pest control service, is to establish a threshold as what pests pose a threat to food safety. Spotting a lone pest doesn’t mean that there is going to be an infestation. But then it’s best to let your pest control service decide the boundaries for the threshold.

Identifying Pests

The treatment for the pest control service will be based on the type of pest.

Preventing Pests

Preventing pests is the most important portion of an effective integrated pest management pest control service. You have to take care of the following steps for preventing pests:

  • Food products are not allowed to accumulate over time to attract pests
  • Clean the facility regularly
  • Making sure there is no expired food rotting
  • Equipment in the facility should be sanitized

Controlling Pests

If the infestation has already taken place, a plan to eliminate them must be put into action.

The intensity of the infestation will determine the course of action. If there are lower chances of contamination, then the application of intense pesticide will be the last resort. If the infestation becomes severe enough to warrant such methods, a temporary shutdown might be in order. The consequences of spotting a pest in commercial properties are horrendous. You might have to shut down your food facility temporarily, and you might lose your food license. Getting the right pest control service for your food facility can help protect your brand’s reputation.

When people find their homes and offices infested with pests, it is not uncommon for them to panic. Raymond Web has taken the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies, helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe and pest-free. As the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite and Pest Control, in Tracy, CA, he has in-depth understanding of people and their pain points due to pests, which he efficiently uses in his content to educate people and add value to their lives.

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