A recent article published by Fin24 talks about the prevalence of rats found at 2 retail stores in South Africa.

WATCH: Baby rodents frolic in fruit section at Food Lover’s Market Jabulani Mall

“I’m not going to lie, it was pretty disgusting,” shopper Bongani Mtshali told News24, after he witnessed to baby rodents crawling over a bag of apples at the Food Lover’s Market in Jabulani Mall.

This article shows that there is still a need for improved food safety in our retail stores. With 1 Environmental Health official allocated for every 30 000 people. (World average is 1 for 10 000 people). There is still the need for self regulation and support for 3rd party audits.

Who is responsible for managing pest control

Whilst the onus is on the facility to manage pest control in terms of R638. Assistance is needed from Pest Control companies to help implement a management strategy.  Unfortunately, these companies cannot go it alone, and should be viewed as a team effort, rather than relying on individual companies.

What Does This Mean?

In terms of legal requirements, the facility, such as a retail store, restaurant or canteen must be designed and maintained such that pest entry and harbourage is eliminated.

This means:

  1. No gaps in walls, ceilings and entrances
  2. Windows are kept closed.
  3. Food is not left out to encourage pests and rodents.
  4. All areas are kept clean, in order to eliminate food sources for pests.
  5. The refuse area is corrected covered and sealed.
  6. No cluttered storage is food areas or dark areas that are unused.

The above requirements need to be met by the owners / management before a pest control company can help effective manage the pest control program.

Risks of Rodent-borne Diseases

  • The most obvious risk caused by a rodent infestation is the spread of disease.
  • They are known to carry salmonella, fleas and tapeworms.
  • They can also cause allergic reactions for some people as well, especially asthma suffers.
  • Not to mention, food wastage and damage to property.

Despite the social media outcry. We should all be more aware of what is required.

This is a reminder to make sure all legal requirements are met. And that best practise is maintained. As a reminder below are the FCS audit requirements for pest control.

What Are The FCS Audit Requirements

Pest Control Practices

  • No live vermin or pests (including but not limited to insects, rodents, birds and cats) should be present in food preparation areas.
  • Any evidence of pests (e.g. droppings, dead pests, excluding the fly trap) is an indication of possible pest control problems and should be addressed.
  • Electronic fly killing devices should be cleaned regularly to ensure that they are free of excessive insect debris build up.
  • No clutter (non-operational equipment, boxes, crates etc.) that may harbour pests should be present in kitchen areas.

Pest Control Facilities

  • The kitchen must be well pest proofed and free from holes, gaps and cracks though which vermin can enter and breed in the kitchen.
  • All opening perimeter windows must either be kept closed, or if opened, must be fitted with insect screens.
  • The screens must be in good condition.
  • Doors that lead directly to the outside or to back of house areas that are in a poor state should be kept closed or fitted with a self-closing device or strip curtains or else a fly screen door and all such items must totally exclude insects.
  • All perimeter doors and windows must be free from large gaps when closed, so as to prevent the entry of pests.
  • As necessary (i.e. if there has been any presence of flies) an appropriate number of fly-killing devices should be present (e.g. at least one present at all kitchen entrances leading directly outside).
  • If fly killing devices are present, they must all be operational. Electronic fly killers must be located correctly (e.g. near entrances and not above food preparation surfaces or near clean items).
hygiene audits

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ADRIAN CARTER

Hygiene Survey Manager