Food Safety - Pest Control

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Pest Control

Pest Control is a monthly maintenance task. You can contact a pest control company to provide this service for you. In some states it is required by the Health Department to use a professional service.

A food service establishment must be free of all pests, flies, roaches, ants, mice, and rats. Rodents and insects walk and feed on all kinds of filth, pick up germs on their feet and bodies, and then deposit the germs on any food and utensil they touch.

A restaurant deals with a lot of food storage and you don't want to take any chances of damage caused by pests.

Some tips for controlling pests are:

Seal cracks and keep screens closed.

Keep foods covered and clean up spilled foods immediately.

Dispose of trash and garbage promptly.

Close all openings around wiring, drain pipes, vents, and flues to make them rat and insect proof.

Carefully follow instructions on labels when using poisons and chemicals. Purchase and use only those approved by the health authority for use in food establishments.

Food products, such as flour, sugar, pancake mix, etc., should be removed from their original containers and placed in approved sealed tight containers that are properly labeled and more impermeable to pests (rodent proof).

Garbage and trash are breeding places for diseases, germs, and insects and serve as food for rodents. To avoid this:

Keep garbage and trash in easily washed containers that are tight fitting and prevent flies from entering

Use plastic liners for garbage cans to aid in cleaning the containers. If plastic liners are not used, newspaper can be used but is not as effective.

Wash garbage cans daily with hot, soapy water.

Use insect sprays and rodent bait in and near the garbage and waste area. Only sprays approved by the health authority should be used.

Routinely inspect incoming shipments of food, supplies, and premises for bugs to control the spread of pests.

Eliminate harboring conditions where pest might nest. Using trapping devices or other means of pests control to minimize spread.

Leave work and dining area clean from debris that pests may feed upon.

Links and Other Notes:

Fly elimination begins with locating and eliminating the material in which the flies are feeding and breeding. These two charts will help you match your flying pest to its breeding site or show you what flies breed in any particular material.

Rodent removal and Control: Special attention to product selection is necessary for eliminating rodents in restaurants. It is illegal and unsafe to use snap traps or rodenticides in any area where food is being prepared or served. Never use any rodent control item that might contaminate food or utensils with baits, poisons or rodent body parts.

Controlling Cockroaches: Unfortunately for restaurant owners, bakeries, catering companies, etc, pest control can be a two edged sword. On the one hand trying to keep roaches - especially german roaches at a low level of infestation can cost thousands of dollars a year. Still - an occasional cockroach ruins someones meal. Also if someone sees a cockroach, then almost certainly the rumor begins to spread, resulting in unpaid meal tickets, lost customers, visits from the local health official and in the worst case scenario - a lawsuit.