In the U.S., regulations and guidelines to ensure food safety are serious business. Since insects and rodents can carry bacteria and other pathogens that may spread disease and easily contaminate food, lead to health code violations, trigger product recalls, and damage your reputation, pest control and prevention should be a top priority for business owners. Here's how pests can impact food safety and how to stay on top of ensuring pest infestations never get out of control.
Pests that present food health and safety risks
Some pests are the result of unsanitary conditions and are responsible for spreading microorganisms, and allergens that can be harmful to humans. If you suspect an infestation, you can help minimize the damage to your business by calling in professional pest control technician immediately.
- Flies: Commonly found around trash receptacles and drains, house flies, drain flies, and fruit flies have a reputation for being unsanitary. Since they feed on waste and land on food, they can spread disease-causing organisms.
- Cockroaches: According to the World Health Organization, cockroaches are “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements." They can carry bacteria and disease-causing pathogens and can even trigger an asthma attack in some people.
- Rodents: Mice and rats can carry pathogens that can spread disease through their urine, droppings, fur, and saliva. From gnawing on food packaging to causing damage that will make it easier for other pests to enter, a rodent infestation can lead to health code violations and shutdowns.
- Ants: No one wants their food contaminated by a swarm of ants. Since they can come in the thousands, carpenter ants, pavement ants, and pharaoh ants can all become difficult to control for restaurants and food processing facilities.
- Stored Product Pests: Insects like Flour beetles and a variety of other different types of beetles and moths are attracted to stored dry products like flour, spices, and wheat. An infestation can make inventory unsafe for human consumption and lead to a loss of investment and revenue.
Having issues with pests in your restaurant, bar, or food processing facility? Learn more about our pest control services.
Pest control and food storage
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) provides guidelines for safe practices when dealing with food, but many regulations will vary state to state. The FDA has compiled a list of State Retail and Food Service Code Regulations by State that can help you understand specific guidelines that apply to your business.
One of the most important categories for restaurants to worry about is food storage. Pest control depends on two things: excluding pests and proper sanitation, both of which are related to food storage best practices. Proper food storage includes but is not limited to:
- Keep food in airtight containers
- Rotate stock regularly
- Label everything clearly
- Dispose of expired food
- Keep food containers elevated off the floor
Obtaining and maintaining a food service license requires passing regular inspections to make sure the property is meeting standards of cleanliness on an ongoing basis. An obvious pest infestation can be grounds to force a restaurant to shut down, but preventative pest control can help ensure you're always ready for a health inspection.
Make pest control an ongoing practice
Professional pest control services prioritize long-term prevention through biological controls, pest exclusion, and smart sanitation strategies to reduce the likelihood of attracting pests in the first place.
Throughout their lives, pests' habits can vary. An experienced pest control technician can identify what pest you are dealing with, how much of a risk they are at any given stage, and the best method of treatment.
Even when you follow food safety regulations perfectly, pests can still find their way in. But as long as you know how to recognize a problem and tackle it immediately, it won't be hard to get back to business as usual.
Let us help you stay prepared and feel confident. Call us at 877.837.6464 to schedule service or request a free quote.