Most pest problems at food service facilities don’t begin inside of the building, but rather from the outside. Recycle bins, dumpsters, garbage cans and food composting containers can attract insects, rodents, raccoons and other invasive creatures that can pose food safety risks and can potentially eat into your business’ profits.
ServSafe MN Info for Keeping Pests from Getting into Your Facility
Reducing waste can help reduce your pest risks, but since there is no way to completely stop producing garbage, empty recyclable containers and food scraps, there are steps that can be taken to prevent pests from inhabiting the areas where your garbage is stored until trash day.
- Keep areas around trash bins clean
- Bag all garbage
- Rinse recyclables
- Keep lids to trash receptacles closed
- Seal and lock compost and food recycling containers
Making sure that your trash storage area is kept clean is essential to reducing risk of rodents, and sometimes simply picking up spilled trash won’t keep away smells. Certain pests such as rodents have a heightened sense of smell, so if you have a major garbage spill you may want to hose down the area to prevent odors from lingering. Bagging all garbage is also an effective way of reducing odors from attracting unwanted creatures. Rinsing bottles and cans will help keep pests, especially insects, away from your facility. If there is no food residue left in your recyclables there will be very little to attract pesky bugs. Once your trash and recyclables are in the appropriate receptacle, making sure the lids are closed is essential to keeping smaller animals from exploring what’s inside.
One current waste reduction trend is to compost the waste from vegetable products for gardening use around company property. If your facility composts, it’s important to keep your composting bins sealed and it may even be a good idea to keep them locked and away from the building. Purchasing plastic bins that are designed for this purpose will do the most to prevent attracting animals.
As with most food safety hazard prevention, the key to keeping pests out of your outdoor trash storage areas is cleanliness and diligence. At Safe Food Training, we like to hear ideas from local food certified managers. What are some of your tricks for keeping unwanted guests out of your trash storage areas?