Pest Control is a significant component within your food safety management systems. Pest infestation can be a nuisance. Most importantly, being a danger to health. Resulting in contamination of food and food products intended for human consumption. Furthermore, damaging the structure of your premises. In addition to spreading many forms of disease and harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.
Food Hygiene legislation states that businesses must ensure protection against pests and have adequate procedures in place to ensure pests are controlled.
What are pests?
There are 3 main groups of pests that are encountered in food business.
- Rodents:- Rats and Mice.
- Insects:- Cockroaches, Beetles Flies etc.
- Birds:- Pigeons, seagulls etc.
Signs of pest infestation
- Squeaks, gnawing sounds and scurrying sounds.
- Gnawing of Building Materials, Wiring, Food & Packaging.
- Debris from Nests and Feathers.
- Physical Sightings of live/dead animals.
Prevention – Stopping Access and Removing Attraction.
The most efficient way to deal with pests is to exclude them form your premises completely.
- All external doors should fit frames securely. Such as, attaching brush strips to any ill fitting doors.
- Fly screens over external windows and doors.
- Secure any gaps around pipework and drains.
- Fill any cracks in walls. Including floors and ceilings.
Having procedures in place to reduce the attraction.
- Cleaning – regular thorough cleaning.
- Storage – store food off the floor. together with regular stock rotation.
- Checking incoming goods for pest infestation.
- Maintaining waste area – ensuring bins are securely closed. Regularly empty and cleaning.
- Staff training. In addition to having a pest control procedure in place.
Subsequently having a contracted pest control in place with regular site checks is good practice. however, the ultimate responsibility for any pest problem lies with the proprietor of the food business.