Sanitation and Summer Pest Control

Pests are common vectors of foodborne illness, carrying pathogens ranging from E. coli to Salmonella. Excellent sanitation is the first line of defense against pests because it removes many of the food and water sources essential to their survival. Food safety professionals should review their sanitation programs and incorporate these basic steps to help keep facilities clean and pest-free.

By Orkin Commercial Services

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Summer Pest Control Tips: Orkin Commercial -- warehouse
Clean storage shelves thoroughly during inventory rotation. When cleaning, pay special attention to the grooves and joints where pests can hide.

Pests are common vectors of foodborne illness, carrying pathogens ranging from E. coli to Salmonella. Excellent sanitation is the first line of defense against pests because it removes many of the food and water sources essential to their survival. Food safety professionals should review their sanitation programs and incorporate these basic steps to help keep facilities clean and pest-free.

  • Clean up ingredient spills immediately.
  • Eliminate unnecessary moisture.
  • Vacuum regularly behind and under equipment and in cracks and crevices.
  • Don't forget storage areas.
  • Reexamine waste management processes.
  • Extend sanitation efforts beyond the building.
Excellent interior sanitation is not enough. Even the cleanest facility will face pest problems from time to time if food and water sources are readily available along the exterior. Include the facility's immediate exterior in the regular sanitation schedule to remove waste, food debris, standing water and other pest attractants. Food debris and other byproducts of the production process can attract pests, so remove waste from the premises as quickly as possible. The longer waste products are on-site and accessible, the greater the likeliness pests will invade. Take the opportunity to clean storage shelves thoroughly during inventory rotation. Pay special attention to the grooves and joints when cleaning because pests can hide in these areas. Leave 18 inches between walls and shelves to allow regular cleaning in these otherwise hard-to-reach areas. Frequent vacuuming with a HEPA filter can remove live insects, food debris, the dust they eat, and the droppings and other allergens they leave behind. Moist environments are naturally ripe for pest infestations. Inspect the facility for unnecessary moisture on a regular basis, and eliminate it wherever possible. Even condensation from HVAC units or a puddle of water from a leaky pipe can supply plenty of water to support an active infestation. Fruit and drain flies subsist on debris and moisture found inside drains. Organic cleaners, developed with the same biotechnology used to clean ocean oil tanker spills, use naturally occurring enzymes to remove organic debris without the harsh chemicals in many commercial cleaners. Since most common pests, including rodents, cockroaches and flies, thrive on the same food ingredients as humans, even a small spill can encourage and sustain an infestation. Clean up spills as soon as possible - even an hour without proper attention can be enough time to attract pests.
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