Food Industry Alert: Rats are a Dangerous Health Risk
- Hantavirus: A virus that causes flu like symptoms, some strains can be fatal in humans.
- Rat-bite fever: Caused by bacteria and can be transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food.
- Salmonella: Rats may carry the Salmonella bacteria, which contaminates the food and water. The bacteria causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Rat Tapeworm: There are various types of worms that can be transmitted to humans via contaminated foods and water.
Rats can be an especially pesky problem in the food industry. Not only can they damage or eat the food supply, they can carry and contaminate the food supply with their urine and fecal waste. This can then expose everybody to serious diseases and other health risks. Thankfully Pest Control Professionals are available today that can help to keep this problem under control.
Without good hygiene and proper management of all facilities, the food industry is an ideal environment for rats. Not monitored properly this can lead to an infestation and contaminated foods. There are strict policies and regulations in place that all companies and restaurants have to adhere to, if they want to remain open. Any food manufacturing company undergoing an inspection, can be shut down immediately if any rat or infestation is found.
“Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over one million descendants.”
The best action to take against any problems is, to use prevention methods and to detect a problem early on. This will help to prevent any larger infestations occurring as well as any contamination. An infestation can cost a lot of money, so vigilance and preventing the problem in the first place is the way to go.
Manage your store room
- Always have good hygiene and inspect premises for signs of rats.
- Piles of unwanted materials, damaged containers, waste paper or any waste materials should be removed regularly.
- Inspect shipments or deliveries of food supplies
- Sweep and wipe surfaces regularly
- Implement rodent proofing techniques in the building.
- Place poisonous baits or traps in food warehouses
- Some chemicals that are used for rodents can be toxic and food could be contaminated with these poisons. Luckily there are non-toxic systems that can be used in places where poisonous bait for rats may not be allowed.
- Professional pest control should be called in immediately when a problem is detected.
Know the signs
- Look out for any tooth marks on food or wood
- Any droppings found must be investigated straight away
- There can be a distinctive stale odour produced by rats
- Rats can leave ‘rub marks’, dirt on their bodies can leave these marks on surfaces.
- Listen for unusual scratching sounds and noises
- Rat prints in dusty areas
- Rats like to use soft materials, insulation and cardboard to make their nests.
Everybody involved in the food industry from owners to managers and employees should ensure that their business and buildings are free from rats and pests. This can help to ensure that any stored food, prepared food and surfaces are free from contamination. This will also help to prevent any health issues that may affect employees and customers. Dealing with a rat problem can also help to prevent other unpleasant legal problems that may arise due to contamination.
Boland Pest Control are exterminators who service homes and businesses. Contact us for a sustainable pest control solution.