Director of Business Services, Assurity Consulting
8th January 2018
A recent prosecution of a Dunstable restaurant owner, resulting in a fine of over £20,000 highlights the financial consequences an infestation of cockroaches can have on a food business.
Like all pests that can occur in food premises, it is best to prevent cockroaches from entering in the first place. They can be brought into your premises with raw materials, in food containers and in laundry, so it is important the ensure these items are thoroughly inspected on receipt. They can also obtain access to your food premises through poor structural conditions, so any openings should be sealed, especially around service pipes and conduits. Areas that are inaccessible for cleaning should also be removed and particular attention should be paid to drains and refuse areas.
Despite implementing the above the occasional cockroach could still enter your food premises so good housekeeping is essential to prevent a population from establishing, as cockroaches can lay hundreds’ of eggs. Keeping premises in a clean and tidy condition, clearing food spillages immediately, keeping food in covered containers, regular rotation of food and equipment and educating your employees to spot cockroaches can all help prevent an infestation from arising.
Cockroaches are nocturnal insects and are known to be most active just before dawn or just after dusk, so these are good times to spot any activity. Traps have also been developed, which can be useful to monitor the extent of an infestation. If cockroaches are detected in your premises it is really important they are eradicated as soon as possible and a professional pest control contractor should be employed to carry this out. The British Pest Control Association website (www.bpca.org.uk) can help you to find an appropriate contractor.
As with all food safety issues an effective food safety management system that is regularly reviewed can help to prevent the financial and reputational issues that can arise from a cockroach infestation. Because no one should expect to find a cockroach in their food!
For more information on the support Assurity Consulting can provide with your food safety management, please click here