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Besides potential health risks, pest infestation will inevitably lead to significant waste and, therefore, commercial loss. The loss caused by pest infestation of raw materials or the finished product can be large.

This section presents information about

  • the hazards posed by pests
  • types of pests
  • characteristics of pests.

Hazards posed by pests

Food products are at a high risk of contamination if control measures are not in place. Pests are carriers of food poisoning microorganisms and viruses that pose major hazards to consumer health.

In addition to the contamination by microorganisms and viruses, pests can also contaminate food with

  • hair
  • fur
  • droppings/urine
  • eggs
  • dead bodies.

Certain pests, rodents in particular, can also cause significant damage to a factory by, for example, chewing through electrical wires and causing fires.

Types of pests

There are many different types of pests that can pose a risk to human health or the commercial viability of your company. These include

  • rats
  • mice
  • insects – cockroaches, flies, ants
  • stored product pests – larder beetles, weevils, flour moths
  • reptiles – lizards
  • birds
  • animals attracted by pests- notably, cats and dogs.

Habitats of pests

Pests require certain conditions to survive and reproduce:

  • security
  • shelter
  • food
  • water.

As a food safety manager, you must understand what conditions allow pests to survive and reproduce. If you aren’t fully aware of what these circumstances are, you business will suffer contamination and loss that may make the business no longer sustainable.


Once pests have entered your factory, it is difficult to control and totally eliminate them, particularly if there is an infestation. You must prevent their invading your factory or facility!

Preventing any and all ingression of pests will be commercially more cost-effective than continually eliminating pest infestation.

The control of prevention of ingression of pests requires

  • proofing the premises
  • monitoring for signs of infestation
  • practicing good hygiene.

Conditions to minimise the risk of pest ingression

Effective proofing of your factory premises is the preferred method for control of pests.

Doors and windows pose the highest risk of ingression; thus a door and window closure policy should be introduced. Other methods may need to be considered: fine mesh screens for windows and doors, self-closing mechanisms on doors, and plastic curtains on internal and external door openings.

Rodents can enter a factory through the smallest of openings, so any gap under doors should be covered with a metal plate. To prevent flying insects, reptiles, or birds, any

holes or openings in the fabrication of the factory must be filled with mortar or covered with metal/plastic sheets or mesh.

Awareness of infestation

As the food safety manager, you must make sure all staff members are aware of signs of pest infestation and possible entry points. They should also be aware of the importance of reporting the presence of any possible infestation right away. Signs to look for are

  • live animals
  • dead animals
  • droppings
  • damaged packaging
  • smell
  • smears/discolouration of walls
  • larvae/pupae
  • eggs
  • webbing
  • piles of debris
  • holes in fabrication.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Food safety knowledge network basic level requirements. OpenStax CNX. Dec 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11142/1.4
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