Not all facilities that serve food make their meals in the same building. Nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, and even restaurants often prepare their food at a secondary location before serving it to their clients and customers. In order to ensure the food is kept warm and safe from outdoor contamination, these facilities will transport the meals using food carts, or metal rolling carts.
Although they are designed to keep food protected from the outside world, the warm interior and welcoming smell of food makes them a hotspot for invasive insects and rodents. Worse yet, they can also serve as a transportation device for pests like bed bugs which can quickly lead toinfestation. The good news is there are plenty of ways you can prevent and treat invasive pests in food carts before they turn a nice, calm meal into an infestation nightmare. Following are three eco-friendly ways you can keep your food carts safe from insects and rodents without resulting to insecticides or chemical treatments.
The easiest way to keep pests out of your food carts is to inspect them regularly. Create a schedule of inspection to ensure the entire cart is thoroughly checked on a regular basis. Be sure to have a recorded checklist for sanitation, signs of bugs and rodents, and possible entry points. These inspections should be performed in an isolated room away from the food to ensure no pests exit the cart and infest the preparation process. Remember that these insects and rodents contaminate more food than they consume, so any signs of their presence should be treated immediately.
Invasive insects and rodents can find anentry to a food cart in even the smallest of cracks. In fact, an adult rat can fit its body through the hole the size of a quarter. In order to keep a pest free food cart, you must perform a thorough inspection to find all possible entry points around the exterior. If any problem areas are found, use caulk to seal the cracks and holes to reduce the probability that pests will enter the food carts. If you notice infestations occurring after the food carts have been stored, seal any entry points to the rooms they reside in,as well.
Heat treatment has become a staple in the pest control industry as it provides unparalleled effectiveness without the use of harmful chemicals. Heat treatment should only be performed by a professional as it is a delicate process that requires specialized heat management machines. The process works by sealing off an infested food cart or room and raising the internal temperature to a level where no bugs can survive. This temperature is maintained for a set duration of hours depending on the infestation level to ensure they are either killed or flee the premises. Once completed, you can return to use the carts without any concern of pesticide or chemical residue.
No matter how much effort you put into protecting your food from insects and rodents, they will always manage to find another way to the source. The best way to maintain a pest-free environment in your facility is to perform regular inspections of your food carts and eating area, as well as incorporate preventative measures to keeping them out. If you do notice the early signs of infestation, don’t hesitate to contact the pest control experts at Greenleaf Pest Control to ensure your building is pest free.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.