For businesses handling food, adhering to necessary food safety regulations and standards is imperative to help ensure the food and beverage products produced are safe to eat and free from foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella and E.coli.
Pest control plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of food, as many species of pests have been linked to the spread of diseases. Cockroaches are known to spread foodborne illnesses and, according to the Department of Transfusion Medicine at Bangkok University, are: among the medically important pests in urban environments that cause serious public health problems.
Although there is strong evidence that proves the link between cockroaches and foodborne diseases, it is important to note that cockroaches are not direct vectors of these illnesses, but rather play a role in the spread of some diseases.
Cockroaches are known to spread the bacteria which cause foodborne illnesses and contribute to the contamination of food products.
The common bacteria spread by cockroaches are:
The CDC estimates that Salmonella causes around one million foodborne illnesses in the US each year. It is a major cause of foodborne illness throughout the world and is 1 of 4 key global causes of diarrhoeal diseases.
According to the World Health Organisation, the symptoms of salmonella infections usually appear 12 to 72 hours after infection in the form of fever, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. Usually, the illness lasts between 4 and 7 days, with most people recovering without treatment.
The WHO also states that: Salmonella can pass through the entire food chain from animal feed, primary production, and all the way to households or food-service establishments and institutions.
Escherichia coli (E.coli) is a bacterium which lives in the intestines of people and animals. Although most E.coli are harmless, some are pathogenic and can cause serious foodborne illnesses.
Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC), also referred to as enterohemorrhagic E.coli (EHEC), is the pathotype most commonly associated with foodborne illness outbreaks.
Listeria monocytogenes is the bacterium which causes listeriosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 1,600 become infected with listeriosis each year.
The symptoms of a listeria infection are similar to those of other foodborne illnesses showing signs of fever and diarrhoea, however, they can vary depending on the person.
Foodsafety.gov explains that listeria can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats.
Cockroaches aid in the spread of foodborne diseases through contamination – primarily through their feeding habits.
Cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat almost anything including faeces and other cockroaches.
Did you know, that if a cockroach feeds on an item infected with a foodborne illness the disease bacteria can remain in its digestive system for a month or more?
The bacteria living within the cockroach’s digestive system is then deposited through the cockroach’s faeces, and in turn will contaminate anything it touches such as raw ingredients, cooking utensils and food processing machinery.
Our integrated pest management programmes include the use of our connected pest control solutions and the Internet of Things to enable a proactive response to pest management to help mitigate risk along the food supply chain.
An integrated pest management programme can manage cockroaches by:
Click here to learn more about our integrated pest management solutions.
Looking to protect your business from cockroach infestations? Contact the experts at Rentokil today.
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