Food businesses are expected to actively control pests under UK laws. Pest control in food businesses is so important because of the food safety law and the health and safety law. There is also a duty of care to provide a safe employment for people in your business. This could be your employees, your customers, your contractors and other people.
This is why pest control in food businesses is expected. All businesses are expected to employ a qualified, professional pest controller to use safe and legal pest control methods.
Why is pest control in food businesses so important?
It should be pretty obvious, you need pest control in food businesses because you want people to eat food that won’t make them ill. Pests carry a lot of harmful bacteria. These bacteria contaminate food and causes illnesses. The germs then can be passed onto food through contact via hair, faeces and urine.
Pests can also cause a lot of damage to the structure of your property. They chew electrical wiring, scratch your walls and even leave toxic waste behind. It’s because of this that pest control in food businesses is so important.
Your Pest Control Plan
Now you know how vital pest control in food businesses is, you have to pull together a plan. Pest control in food businesses can be a little more complicated than other industries. But the best way to move forward is to do prevention first. This minimises the risk of pests entering your premises. You can do this by:
- Putting screens on air vents.
- Sealing holes around the premises.
- Keeping all floors, walls, roofs and windows in good condition.
- Installing drain covers.
- Place screens on windows and doors that open directly into food preparation to stop pest access.
The Key Pest Threats In The Food Industry
If a fly lands on food, equipment or a work surface it becomes contaminated. Flies carry diseases like salmonella, typhoid, E coli and many more. Here are some ways you can stop flies in the food industry.
- Electric fly killers – A presence in most kitchens. The UV light attracts the insects and the electric grill kills them. Where you place these in the kitchen is important. Don’t put them where flies can see them from outside, as they may be attracted to it. You also shouldn’t put them above a food preparation area.
- Fly paper – Very unsightly for customers to see. Secondly flies don’t always stick to the paper.
- Chemical sprays – No DIY methods should be used because you can contaminate your food supplies and your preparation areas.
Food businesses are perfect for rodents because of the warmth, water and constant food supply. They can cause a lot of damage to your property, as well as spreading disease too.
- Bait traps – When using poisons, leave it to a professional when in the food business. There are legislations in place that means rodenticides can only be used by trained and certified professionals. You have to make careful considerations where you will store the bait. This way, you can ensure that nothing can be contaminated in the general environment.
- Spring traps – These traps kill the rodents instantly. It’s far more humane than a live trap where you could leave the pest to become distressed. You have to check spring traps regularly, and make all staff aware of their presence, so no accidents happen.
Birds cause a real issue when they are taking up roost in your food business. Their faeces are acidic and can damage the structure of your property if not removed. Most birds, eggs and nests are protected in the UK, so you can’t go in all guns blazing to remove them. The best thing to do is to call a professional pest controller to see what options you have when it comes to bird prevention.
The pros of professional pest control in the food industry
- You get a great source of experience and knowledge with a professional. You will have that reassurance that all measures are in place to take care of the pest problem.
- DIY measures won’t work for your business. You need professional strength treatment measures.
- There will be no misdiagnosis of pests. Professionals have years of experience. This means they can identify and detect your pests within minutes of being onsite.
- Pest controllers are properly trained. The incorrect use of chemicals can have dire consequences. They know how to use the treatments you need to stay pest free.
Professional pest control can cost a little or a lot. The question is whether your business’s reputation and peace of mind is worth saving a few extra pennies in the long term.
You can find out more about Empire Pest Control’s commercial pest control services by visiting our website. We offer affordable pest control contracts for businesses of any size in the London area.