As mobile caterers, much of Veggies work takes place away from our own premises, in trailers or at community centres and other temporary venues. We therefore need to ensure that our food handling, preparation and storage practices are designed to minimise any risk of contamination by visiting animals, such as rodents, insects etc.
However so-called pest animals are no less capable of experiencing pain and distress than other animals, so prevention of unwanted visits is much preferred to having to deal with them in more invasive ways.
Pests are attracted by easy availability of food.
Ensure there is nothing to tempt them into the food premises or surrounding area.
- Keep foods off the ground, ideally above 18”.
Give particular attention to loose and fresh foods, such as vegetables & bakery products.
- Keep open foods covered.
Opened packages must be carefully resealed or transferred to sealed containers.
- Check for visual signs of contamination, especially vegetables and other fresh foods.
- Check that packaging is not damaged, or effected by damp,
eg packaged goods, such as fruit juices, soya milks, grains, tinned goods.
- Rotate stock.
Do not carry excessive supplies, nor open more than necessary for immediate use.
- Keep premises clean.
- Immediately clean any spillages or split packages that could result in food debris.
- Rubbish bins should be kept clean and be closed with tight fitting lids.
- Rubbish should be removed as far away as possible whilst awaiting disposal.
- Food waste should be regularly removed from food premises.
Vegetable trimmings and other compostables, should be stored as far away as possible.
- Keep food storage areas clear and tidy to facilitate ease of cleaning.
- Clean floors and work surfaces regularly.
- Use appropriate disinfectants and detergents.
- Check premises for potential entry points for pests.
Pests can enter through the smallest cracks in the fabric of buildings.
- Maintain personal hygiene
Pay particular attention to clean hands, hair and clothing.
- Report any illness, which could indicate tainted food.
Do not work in food premises or handle food if ill.
See discussion of Animal Welfare and Pest Control by Kate E Littin and Cheryl E O’Connor of the Animal Welfare Directorate, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry