July 26, 2018

Restaurants, Milk Bars and Fresh food suppliers

We must be able trust those who sell us our food.

It is now so easy for consumers to get on social media and crucify restaurants and cafes for not meeting their expectations. Whether it is the service, the product, or the cleanliness, the food supplier should endeavour to provide their absolute best.

Now, how many times have you walked into a shop and noticed flies buzzing around the cakes inside a cabinet?  Or Ants streaming across the footpath outside a shop?

Fruit flies doing endless circuits, like mini aircraft practising take offs and landings on the light fittings.

Have you seen those YouTube videos of rats or mice in the sandwich bars, feeding away like they own the place? [They probably do!].

So interesting to note – retail food suppliers are governed by their local council’s own inspector(s).

Work surface and kitchen equipment in professional kitchen
Our observation of this process is, the budget handed down by councils to pay for these inspectors and support staff is minimal. Therefore the food supplier is left to decide how important and what level of pest control they think is warranted, within their establishment.

Food establishments should be using guidelines set by the State government for food health standards. Noting things like:

  • Maximum times for food storage;
  • Temperatures of fridges, bain mares, pie warmers etc.
  • Wash hand basins and toilet facilities for staff cleanliness.
  • Cleaning of food preparation surfaces, utensils, floors, drains etc.
  • Is the premises free from pests?

Part of the food safety guidelines covers pest control, but a very small mention in the overall scope, which is worrying to me.

cooking cockroach

Basically it recommends “pests should be prevented in food establishments”. Not very informative…

Surprisingly many purveyors of fine foods don’t know a great deal on the finer points of pest control. Some struggle with the difference between prevention and reaction [a big miss!].

Acacia Pest Control provides professional services to a smattering of pro-active food clients in our Geelong region. Many of whom understand that baits get eaten or go a little stale and then become not so palatable and less attractive to pests after a few weeks “in the field”.

Prevention is the best practice of pest control for all food outlets. Reacting to pests that are already in the shop is far from ideal.

acacia vehicle

So when you see an Acacia pest control vehicle or technician in your favourite shop, don’t panic, feel assured that pests are being prevented and your food is safe.

Feel free to share this with your friends, colleagues, employers and employees. The more establishments we look after the safer our food will be.

There are a number of Food Safety Services within Australia who provide guidelines to food establishments based on ‘Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’. This code is a key tool on food safety for all Food Outlets. We have listed some links below for further reading.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand link – Appendix 7 Pest Management

Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 3.2.2 – Food Safety and General Requirements. (Division 6 Section 24 relates to Pest control)

This is the American Food and Drug Administration HACCP code and we consider this to be a valuable and in-depth resource for food retail outlets.