All businesses that prepare or serve food have a responsibility to control pests. This is due to the serious health risks posed by the presence of pest species. For instance, rats and mice carry more than 30 diseases that can be dangerous to humans. And insects such as cockroaches also carry a number of diseases, bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. The risk posed by pests includes-
- The spread of disease – pathogens can be transferred from the gut or external surface of the pest
- Damage to property
- Contamination of work surfaces and foodstuffs
- Adverse public opinion and loss of reputation
- Prosecution and closure
- Poor staff relations
Therefore, it is required to have an effective pest control checklist that will help in reducing the conditions that may encourage the presence of pests. This log must be completed by the well-trained employer. Although, staff members keep performing regular checks.
Most importantly, pest control can be maintained by using the following steps-
- Implement an integrated pest control checklist under the control of a competent person;
- Thoroughly inspect the incoming materials: raw materials, ingredients, packaging, containers and vehicles;
- Use pest-proof containers for storing food
- Likewise, clean the spillage and remove standing water
- Cover and seal rubbish bins tightly.
- Prevent pests from gaining access through windows, drains, vents, screens, doors, piping, roofs, etc;
- Monitor and detect pest’s activity
- Take appropriate pest elimination measures and update the pest control checklist
Apart from this, if there is evidence of any pest infestation then immediate corrective action should be taken to bring the situation under control. Hence, regular inspections and a proper pest control checklist must be updated to ensure that the food establishment meets the mandatory norms of food safety. Above all, implementing robust pest control procedures will keep your premises, customers, staff and reputation safe.