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Pests

If you’re a food business, it’s important that you keep food safe and protected from pests and the harmful microorganisms they can carry.

What are the requirements?

Under Standard 3.2.2—Food Safety Practices and General Requirements, your business must do everything it reasonably can to prevent pest problems.

This means:

  • pests are stopped from entering or living in your food premises
  • pests are eradicated from your premises and vehicles used to transport food.

Reduce your risk

Use a good pest management plan that covers:

  • the types of pests and treatments to be used
  • areas that need inspection and treatment (e.g. behind appliances and equipment, inside wall cavities and cupboards, under and inside boxes and packaging)
  • locations of pest control devices and pesticides. Place them where pesticides or killed pests can’t come in contact with food or food contact surfaces (e.g. not above food preparation areas). Keep a site map of where devices and pesticides are located
  • how often inspections and treatments need to be done - this will depend on the location, climate, food activities, type of pests and activity. Regular inspections and treatments will ensure expired pesticides aren’t used and baits are replaced or reset and dead pests are removed.

Make sure you use pesticides that are approved for use in food premises and include safety and expiry information.

Should I keep records?

It’s a good idea to keep reports of any pest inspections and treatments done. The report should include dates, type of pest activity, chemicals/controls used and recommended actions. Any recommended actions should be done as soon as you can.

Tips

  • enclose food preparation areas as much as possible
  • only prepare low-risk foods in open areas (e.g. coffee)
  • store and display food under covers, behind protective guards or enclosed display cabinets/fridges
  • keep uncovered food away from pest control devices
  • provide and maintain mesh screens on windows, doors and other openings and install weather strips at the base of doors
  • provide self-closing doors, double doors or air curtains at door entries
  • keep doors closed when not in use
  • if you have an open-front food business, only have small servery openings that can be opened and closed
  • make sure there are no holes, cracks or gaps in ceilings, walls and floors—including sealing around service pipes, wires, etc.
  • keep food and waste in sealed containers and regularly remove rubbish
  • use pest repellent and trap devices (e.g. at entrances and exits)
  • keep food premises and transport vehicles clean and tidy
  • if your business can’t manage pests properly you should call in professional help.

Need more information?

Safe Food Australia is a guide to the food safety standards in Chapter 3 of the Food Standards Code. Pests are covered under Standard 3.2.2 clause 24 and in Appendix 7.

Copies of the guide are available at on our website or by emailing information@foodstandards.gov.au.​​

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