The World Health Organization (WHO) deemed Food Safety such an important topic that it declared it the theme of this year’s World Health Day on April 7, 2015. This day is used to alert governments, manufacturers, retailers and the public about the importance of food safety.
One of the most important jobs of a pest professional is in protecting food establishments from pests that transmit disease such as flies. Flies breed in decomposing animal and other waste and even feed on filth like that found in garbage, sewers and even feces. Food establishment owners may not recognize flies as a threat to food safety. Many may be surprised to learn that A recent study conducted by an Orkin entomologist determined that houseflies are twice as filthy as cockroaches.
A large selection of fly control products are available for use by pest professionals to protect humans from the diseases transmitted through contaminated food. However, it is essential that the client cooperate in fly control by maintaining a safe environment and protecting their food and food prep areas from pests. A pest professional should encourage that all food establishments:
Exclude pests from their food handling areas. Properly seal up openings to the outside, ensure screens are intact, install self-closing doors, utilize fly fans or air around doors and windows to ensure that flies and other insects cannot enter are just a few ways that food establishments can protect food from flies.
Having a Cleaning Protocol for food handling areas and equipment. Having a policy in place and training employees to maintain an environment safe from flies is essential. The protocols should ensure that: any equipment utilized in food operation should be properly cleaned of food scraps, areas behind equipment and appliances must be properly swept and washed down, grease must be removed and the area thoroughly cleaned to decrease the chances of attracting flies and other pests to the area.
Proper Waste Management is essential. Removing waste from a building on a daily basis is critical as flies can breed in decomposing food products and food scraps and other garbage attracts rodents to the area. Utilizing tight sealing lids to garbage receptacles and removing garbage regularly, no less than daily, from a building is essential to reducing the risk of pests.
Protect not only food but also eating utensils. Fly-proof containers, tightly sealing doors on cabinets and drawers, fly nets and plastic wrap should all be utilized to ensure that flies do not land on surfaces that can harm humans.
Food safety is an important public health initiative. Educate your accounts on how they can protect their food products from flies and other pests.