Each year, millions of people get sick from eating contaminated food as a result of poor kitchen hygiene practices. While there’s not much you can do to control how your food is prepared at restaurants, there is a lot you can do to keep your family safe at home.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can get sick from eating contaminated food, but some people are more vulnerable to foodborne illnesses than others and may experience more severe symptoms. These at-risk populations include:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults
  • People with certain health conditions (cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, kidney disease)
For these people, making safe choices when it comes to kitchen hygiene and food safety is critical to reduce their risk for foodborne illness.

4 Steps to Food Safety

Learn these food safety tips to keep food safe at home in the kitchen and prevent food poisoning:

Clean: Always wash your food, hands, counters, and cooking tools where illness causing germs can survive.
Separate: Germs can spread from one food to another, so use separate cutting boards and plates for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Cook: Food is safely cooked when the internal temperature is high enough to kill germs hat can make you sick.
Chill: Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours as bacteria that causes food poising multiply quickest between 5°C-60°C

Source: Foodsafety.gov

The 5th Step: Pest Control

Your kitchen is at greater risk of developing pest infestations. This is because food areas are the ideal habitat to live and reproduce (i.e. they provide food shelter and water, everything a growing pest colony needs to survive).
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How pests contaminate food

Pests like flies, cockroaches, and rodents are known to transmit hundreds of types of diseases, and also come with a general stigma of filth as they live and breed amongst decaying matter and leave behind fecal material – not what you want hanging around your food. Other insects like pantry pests will infest cupboards and damage food packaging, contaminating foodstuff with live insects, webbing, feces, caste skins, dead carcasses, and in some cases, bacterial decay.

Prevention

Denying pests food and shelter, particularly in your kitchen, is the best way to prevent infestations from occurring. This can be achieved by practicing good hygiene practices, effective cleaning, and proper waste disposal.

  • Make a habit of cleaning up immediately after meals
  • Check the pipes under the kitchen sink for leaks and holes that could attract or allow entry to pests
  • Take out the rubbish on a regular basis and dispose any food waste in plastic bags immediately to outside bins

What to do if you discover a pest problem

The key to effectively dealing with pest infestations is to identify them in the early stages. This involves regular monitoring of your home for signs of pest activity. When a potential pest problem is detected, we recommend you take the following steps to get rid of and prevent future infestations:

  • Contact a qualified, competent pest control company to survey your premises and carry out the right treatment necessary to remove the infestation
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect all equipment and surfaces that may have been contaminated by pests, including the floor, and removing and disposing any food products that may have been contaminated by pests.
  • Carry out any maintenance to prevent further pest entry (sealing cracks, installing screens or door sweeps, etc.)
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Treating a pest infestation yourself is unlikely to be successful as most off-the-shelf pest control products only work to deter or eliminate pests in plain sight. A professional pest company knows how to identify the source of the infestation and use the right treatments that are powerful enough to eliminate the pest at all stages of their lifecycle.

Need to get rid of a pest infestation in your kitchen? Contact The Specialists in pest control for an obligation-free quote