Companies operating in food retail like grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants all face the threat of pests from a variety of sources. A large store may stock tens of thousands of food products from a variety of sources with complex supply chains, which require efficient monitoring and control procedures.
Activities can include the preparation of food, handling fish and meat that are raw, fresh dairy goods, freshly cooked food, baked items, fruit and vegetables as well as dealing with packaged goods as well. It is important for businesses in the food retail sector to maintain sanitary standards and actively prevent pests in order to maintain high standards of food safety and to protect the goods, staff, customers and their reputation.
The main pests affecting the food sector range from rodents to creepy crawlies and flying critters like flies and cockroaches, each one causing unique problems with food security and other legislative requirements.
Mice and rats are interested in the food supply but do not venture far from their place of residence or nesting sites, so it will nest close to a food source. They are capable of rapid increase in the population given the abundant supply of food, shelter and warm conditions inside a building. For Essex Pest Control, visit a site like BPC Essex Pest Control
Cockroaches can cause particular problems in food businesses because of their small size meaning they can easily hide, their wide diet, speedy reproduction and diseases they may carry. Although they can be difficult to spot since they are largely nocturnal, some signs that could indicate cockroaches in your supermarket include:
A lingering unpleasant odour
Stools brown / black in colour, cylinder shaped approx. 2mm long
Smears or dirty marks on surfaces
Shed cockroach skin close to where they had taken refuge
Buildings such as food retail facilities, provide a safe area for birds to perch around the structure and in spaces such as under the roof. Storing food and waste can also provide a supply of food that attracts birds. Wild birds and their nests are protected by law and only the birds considered pests can be controlled. The most common pest birds are pigeons, house sparrows, several species of gulls and starlings.
Some species of flies are attracted to the smell of food stores, including house and fruit varieties. The uncomfortable truth is that flies can carry more than 100 pathogens that can cause disease in humans, including Salmonella and E. coli. A common risk from flies in supermarkets is that they contaminate food products with pathogens that can cause illness. 64% of businesses worry about the compensation claims resulting from an outbreak of food-borne disease, that flies can be responsible for.