Pests can prove to be a major concern when not handled effectively, especially in your food business. Cleanliness should be a critical aspect. You also do not want customer complaints! The law also does require you to manage pests.
Some of the pests you may find are mice, rats, birds, flies, ants and cockroaches. In addition to their repulsive sight, they carry viruses and bacteria that can contaminate food and surfaces, bringing about diseases.
What Are Your Legal Requirements?
The law requires that you prevent these pests from entering your food business premises and also prevent or eradicate any harbourage of pests.
How Will You Achieve This?
Any cracks or holes present in your walls, ceiling or floors should be sealed. Flyscreens are also a good idea for your windows or door openings. At the base of the doors, you can try installing weatherstrips and keeping the doors closed when they are not being used.
An other thing you can do is to make sure the premises is clean — that is inclusive of all equipment. Carry out regular checks for any sign of pests. Where do you store your food? Have sealed containers, and store them away from the floor.
Garbage bins are a critical area. This area has to be kept clean and tidy. What does this mean? Do not let garbage pile up or sit for long periods. Have an outdoor bin that is emptied regularly, and make sure the area where the outdoor bin is placed is cleaned regularly.
Is there any equipment that is not used on your premises? Remove this equipment as pests will hide there.
Where Do Pests Like to Hide?
Pests like places with a food source; therefore, as a food business, you will have some work to do. Key areas you can check include behind or under cooking, electrical and heating appliances, inside wall, floor or ceiling cracks, crevices, holes or cavities, under boxes, under or behind food packaging and storage containers, under or behind sinks and other washing facilities, and garbage areas.
You may not notice any pest activity during the day, but you can check in the evening when you turn off the lights. If there are pests, you will hear some noises as they run about looking for food.
If You Are Unable to Get Rid of Pests, What Next?
You can always hire the services of an experienced and licensed pest control professional. He or she will be in a position to completely get rid of all pests and also prevent any future entry or harbourage.