Is There a Connection Between Food Safety and Pests?
For restaurants, and hotels with restaurants, food safety is a priority for the well-being of customers and employees, as well as for staying within health code regulations. What you may not realize is that good food safety practices can often play important roles in helping avoid pest problems as well. To show the correlation, let’s take a look at some food safety basics from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (AFIS), and see how they may relate to pest control.
Clean surfaces often. Keeping a restaurant’s kitchen and dining areas clean helps remove the food and moisture sources that can attract pests. It’s important to remove all evidence of food debris, including even tiny crumbs, and to pay special attention to areas behind appliances and furniture. Don't forget to also check cracks and crevices where food particles can accumulate. Wiping up spills immediately is also important, as is making sure that any sticky or greasy remnants are removed completely, as these can be enticing to pests.
Restaurant surfaces aren’t the only places where good cleaning practices matter. Pests can be attracted to food particles on cutting boards, utensils, dishes and cookware, too. Ants can even get into dishwashers to feast on dirty dishes.
Can Pests Compromise Food Safety?
The short answer is yes, pests can absolutely compromise food safety. Here are a few examples:
- Cockroaches can be mechanical vectors for bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella.
- Birds, their droppings and nesting materials may carry or contain pathogens that can cause disease. Unsanitary bird droppings can contaminate just about anything they contact and may result in health code violations or regulatory actions.
- Rodents can also carry pathogens that may cause disease, and unsanitary rodent droppings can contaminate equipment and food as well.
- Stored product pests, such as different species of beetles and moths, can breed inside food products and leave behind eggs and larvae, as well as exoskeletons and other body parts. This can create unsanitary conditions and contaminate food items. These pests can attack many types of foods, including whole grains, wheat, corn, barley, rice, beans, nuts and others. There are also set filth requirements for products to keep in mind.
- Flies can carry pathogens that may cause disease and spread foodborne illnesses.
Why Chance It?
Instead of wondering if the food in your restaurant is safe from pest contamination, call in professional help from a reliable commercial pest control provider to help keep pests away.
Terminix® Commercial has trained technicians with experience in serving the special needs of the restaurant industry, in regards to pests. They know the problems that pests can cause for restaurants, and they know how to help prevent those problems from starting in the first place.
They can also show you how food safety and other preventive measures can help you avoid pest issues so you can serve your food with confidence. You can contact Terminix Commercial for a free estimate anytime – no reservation is needed.