Many flying insects are disease-carrying menaces, carrying a host of dangerous organisms. Each has the potential to contaminate the food we eat, putting our health at serious risk. The control of these menaces is essential wherever food is present from raw material to food service outlets and other sensitive areas.
Flying insect control is a legal requirement in all restaurants, food production and packaging plants. It is also a large part of HACCP, (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) due diligence and good food hygiene practice.
The FDA Food Code 1999 states:
“Insects are capable of transmitting disease to man by contaminating food and food contact surfaces. Effective measures must be taken to control their presence in food establishments”.
What is HACCP?
A food safety program was developed nearly 30 years ago originally for astronauts. Its purpose is the prevention of hazards that could cause food-borne illnesses by applying science-based controls, from raw material to finished products.
The system is known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP
HACCP involves seven principles:
- Analyze hazards. Potential hazards associated with food and measures to control those hazards are identified. The hazard could be biological, such as a microbe; chemical, such as a toxin; or physical, such as ground glass or metal fragments.
- Identify critical control points. These are points in a food's production from its raw state through processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer at which the potential hazard can be controlled or eliminated. Examples are cooking, cooling, packaging, and metal detection.
- Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point. For a cooked food, for example, this might include setting the minimum cooking temperature and time required to ensure the elimination of any harmful microbes.
- Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points. Such procedures might include determining how and by whom cooking time and temperature should be monitored.
- Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met. For example, reprocessing or disposing of food if the minimum cooking temperature is not met.
- Establish procedures to verify that the system is working properly such as, testing time and temperature recording devices to verify that a cooking unit is working properly.
- Establish effective record keeping documenting the HACCP system. This would include records of hazards and their control methods, the monitoring of safety requirements and action taken to correct potential problems. Each of these principles must be backed by sound scientific knowledge. For example, published microbiological studies on time and temperature factors for controlling food-borne pathogens.
Advantages HACCP offers
HACCP offers a number of advantages. Most importantly, HACCP:
- Focuses on identifying and preventing hazards from contaminating food.
- Is based on sound science.
- Permits more efficient and effective government oversight, primarily because the record keeping allows investigators to see how well a firm is complying with food safety laws over a period of time rather than how well it is doing on any given day.
- Places responsibility for ensuring food safety appropriately on the food manufacturer or distributor.
- Helps food companies compete more effectively in the world market.
The first step towards effective pest control is to carry out a survey of the premises to identify areas of high risk and to ensure that the correct measures are put into place to tackle the pest problem. Possibly the most difficult aspect is to determine how many units will need to be placed in the premises and where to position them for optimum performance. The intention of the initial site survey is to gather as much information as possible. Factors to consider are:
- The size of the premises.
- Identify areas of high risk.
- Where are the Doorways / Windows – frequency of use / how often are they opened?
- Identify possible nearby fly breeding sites, e.g. dairy farms, chicken farms, waste disposal areas, drainage sites…etc.
- Establish which areas are wet, of high humidity and those that are glass free.
- Decide which areas pose the highest risk of flies entering the building.
- Starting from the outside entrances, try and determine the natural path the flies will take as they travel through the premises.
- Consider how lighting and air movement may influence the flies' chosen path.
If you have any other questions or queries regarding site surveying, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or call 855-567-4101.
Once the site survey has been completed and the areas of high risk have been identified, the insect light traps can now be positioned. Here are some suggestions for the placement of your insect light traps:
- Wall mount or hang units where they can be easily serviced.
- The units should not be positioned or placed where they can be damaged.
- Do not place units in positions where debris can contaminate food during servicing.
- Position the units to intercept the flies before they enter critical areas.
- Position units to draw insects away from the area you are trying to protect.
- Do not position the units where they will have to compete with other light sources, e.g. next to, under or over windows.
- Units should not be placed where they can attract flies from outside, i.e. opposite doors or windows.
- Do not use high voltage units in food preparation areas.
- Do not place units directly over food preparation areas, e.g. above cookers, preparation surfaces, steam vents…etc.
- Avoid placing units near air blowers, air curtains or air conditioning units.
- In glass free areas, use units with sleeved tubes.
- For damp or extremely harsh environments, use stainless steel units or units specifically designed for this purpose.
- In areas with large amounts of glass, use clear UV resistant film on windows.
If you have any other questions or queries regarding trap placement, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-567-4101.