One day you broke your utensil or your kids wanted you to take them outside for dinner, you decided to eat at a restaurant which is famous for serving mouth-watering delicacies. But how would you ensure that the food served there is as safe and hygienically served as your own homemade food? Simple way is that you don’t care about it and about the side-effects that could occur after eating at these places because most of the restaurant chains claim to serve good quality food with hygiene. But in reality, even these chain restaurants, cafes or bars are affected with pests and so does the food processed and cooked inside their kitchens. Due to abundance of food items, ideal temperature and moisture conditions some conductive conditions are created that allow pest infestation to thrive.
Finding a bug inside your burger at a fast food chain could be an accident but it also proves that the claim of serving hygienic and good quality food is false. Here are some food chains, local restaurants, etc. that needs pest control and why:
- Chain Restaurants: These restaurants provide food on a large scale, at some places they have their own kitchen and at some other, food isbrought to themalready cooked from their processing plants. In that scenario, it’s highly likely that out of 1000 there might be few cases where the food is contaminated with pests.
Most chain restaurants like Dominos, Pizza Hut, KFC has an advantage of serving food with different varieties in different nations with their thousands of outlets and if such an event occurs then the whole business gets affected.
- Local Restaurants: These restaurants are mostly found in corner of the streets of any market or around your locality.Some of them are certified by different organizations like FSSAI and HACCP but most of them don’t find certifications as relevant for their business. The reason why people choose them knowing that they don’t maintain a standard is that the food is usually cheap and the outlet is close to their homes.
Food sometimes is even prepared outside i.e. in an open area giving opportunities to pests like Cockroaches, Filth flies and rats to feed on the food or fresh produce. These restaurants face more cases of processing pests accidentally in the food items.
- Commercial Kitchens:
These are professionally designed kitchens and usually bigger in size with all the necessary catering equipment available for better workflow and fast paced working environment. Although a properly planned and designed commercial kitchen improves kitchen cleanliness but even these places have flaws, certain conditions may develop that provide an environment for pests to infest and multiply.
Here are some areas where occurrence of pests should be inspected thoroughly:
– Wet Places: water is the main draw for any pest, so the places like pipes, sinks, cooler, and refrigerator doors are usually the places to look at and clean thoroughly.
– Storage Rooms: cockroaches, rodents and ants harbor in cardboard boxes and other cluttered places in the storage rooms and from that they directly get into the food that will be used for processing.
– Cracks and holes: cracks and holes in the wall or around pipes, gaps around electrical outlet boxes or wall fixtures provide access to the pests; even slight water seepage through the floor can attract flies.
- Cafes/bars: These places too are affected as they are not usually bigger but remain congested and filled with people for a particular time of the day. With that in mind places that require cleaning in cafes or bars require timely cleaning. For operating in both days & nights extra care needed of the spots that remain hidden and unused.
Pest Threats in Food Processing:
Food processing plants provide ideal conditions for an array of pests, presenting flies, rodents, cockroaches and beetles with ample water, food and hiding places for nesting.
- Rodents: Mice, roof rats pose the greatest problem in food storage and processing facilities. Food contaminates easily in their presence as they allow for accumulation of excrement by defecating on food. Both rodents and cockroaches are known vectors of salmonella poisoning.
- Flies: common house flies have been found to bear over 100 types of disease-causing microbes like Listeria and salmonella. House flies and filth flies can breed in humid places, garbage or excrement. They have plenty of opportunities to pass on disease-causing germs and infect everything they come in contact with as they move from garbage to fresh food and other surfaces.
- Cockroaches: They are known to spread over 30 types of bacteria, 7 other kinds of human pathogens and at least 6 kinds of parasitic worms. Unlike other pests they can carry microbes and garbage on their appendages while swarming through garbage and sewage, which can easily be transferred to food and processing apparatus.
Regulation & Supervision of Food Safety:
For the purpose of protecting and promoting public health certifications like HACCP short for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points created by World Health Organization to prepare international guidelines, codes and standards of food safety. For ensuring safety of food in India and agency called FSSAI created by Indian Health & welfare ministry. FSSAI thoroughly check the food samples of the consumer products for safety for ex. a recent inspection of samples of a noodle company proved that it contained lead more than permissible levels which was followed by banning of that product from markets.
Benefits of getting pest control from professional company:
It is highly beneficial to get the food processing units inspected and cleaned through professional pest control companies. A professional company always:
- Identify the cause of infestation
- Install and inspect regularly for preventive measures in place
- Identify any potential risks
- Advise on steps, including proofing and insect control
They use discrete and appropriate methods for the environment and will ensure the compliance with food industry hygiene standards.
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