Pests can pose a
significant hygiene threat to food storage and preparation areas, so it is
important to take steps to avoid them. This will help you to avoid potentially
Working in the food industry means there are a number of
potential issues you need to be aware of and take steps to avoid. Not only is
this the case when it comes to ensuring the highest quality of food is being
delivered, it is also vital in terms of avoiding pest problems that could lead
to hygiene fines.
All food businesses need to take reasonable precautions to
avoid pest infestation in food preparation and storage areas. This is to stop
contamination taking place, which can lead to serious illness. Failure to take
steps to avoid pests, such as; mice, rats, flying insects, cockroaches and
other insects, can result in hefty fines.
So how do you work to avoid pests where you are preparing,
storing or serving food?
Thorough and regular cleaning
Ensuring all areas where food storage and preparation take
place are thoroughly and regularly cleaned is hugely important in terms of pest
control. If food is available for pests to feed on, they are more likely to
However, if you ensure that everything is thoroughly cleaned
and there is no food available for pests to feed on, there is a greater chance
that they'll move on to somewhere else. This means you need to clean your
kitchen a couple of times a day, perform weekly deep cleans and keep fridges
and cupboards organised and tidy at all times.
Address leaks and remove clutter
It isn't just food that can attract pests. Cockroaches can
be equally attracted to and sustained by water, which means any liquid
spillages should also be dealt with quickly and thoroughly.
Things like sweating pipes and full fridge overflow
containers can all potentially attract cockroaches, with cluttered kitchen and
storage spaces offering plenty of places for them to hide. Keep an eye out for
leaks and keep food preparation and storage areas as tidy as possible.
Proper food disposal
It is also vital that you ensure waste food is being
disposed of correctly. Failure to do this can attract pests, particularly mice
and rats. This means getting rid of all scraps of food, emptying bins
regularly, not overfilling bins and ensuring regular rubbish collections.
On top of this, it is also a good idea to rinse out bins and
rubbish storage areas after they have been emptied to avoid any spillages from
attracting pests. It is also a good idea to use strong bin liners to prevent
Create a food safety policy
It is really important to have a food safety policy in place
that all staff are trained in and refreshed on at regular points. This should
cover everything from how to clean, dispose of food waste and organise storage.
You should also make sure it covers risks of pests and how
people can identify that there are pests present, as well as what steps to take
if this is the case. All of this information should be readily available for
reference as and when it is needed.
with staff on the lookout for potential pest problems,
it can be easy to miss the signs, which can result in fines. Rather than
relying on others to highlight the problem, arrange for regular and thorough
checks to be performed by a pest control contractor.
This will make sure you're made aware of any issues that
haven't been picked up, as well as allow you to take appropriate action to deal
with them. If it does turn out there is a pest problem, make sure you have
thorough documentation that shows how it was taken care of so you can show the