There is a lot resting on the shoulders of a grocery store manager. Proper store operations are extensive, employee satisfaction is a high priority, and exceptional quality of products and service for customers are ongoing goals that require constant vigilance. However, one mouse or insect can derail all that hard work building your store’s reputation for excellence.
It’s vital for store managers to know the guidelines for keeping a grocery store pest free as well as the best removal methods if an infestation occurs.
Get Ahead of Pests Through Prevention
Preventive measures halt unwanted visitors and are key for a safe grocery environment. What are some protocols for stopping pests before they start?
- Begin by finding a licensed, registered pest management professional (PMP) for initial store inspection.
- Use controlled pesticides and insecticides approved by your PMP.
- Install approved insect control devices (e.g., ultraviolet flytraps and glue boards).
- Keep your PMP’s contact information close; expert advice should be just a phone call or email away.
- Prioritize high standards for building maintenance, such as attending to cracks in the foundation, poor seals on windows, tears and holes in screens and door curtains to make spaces impenetrable.
- Train team members to store food properly off of floors and in pest-proof containers after inspection on receipt to keep pests at bay.
- Clean frequently with special attention to machines, crevices, and hard to reach surfaces to minimize opportunity for bugs to be attracted to your workspace.
- Remove waste regularly (when it’s full and at shifts end at minimum) to make your store undesirable to bugs or rodents.
How to Spot an Intrusion
Wherever there is food, there is a pest that is desperate to get to it. Regularly review guidelines to keep safety information fresh in your own mind and with team members.
- Look for and report dead bodies of insects, roaches and bird.
- Inspect routinely for torn or damaged packaging.
- Be cognizant about the discovery of feathers, larvae, droppings or even fur that is often used for nesting material.
- Stay aware of rub marks and rat runs to assist in keeping rodents out.
- If treatment is required, make sure employees understand the dangers of pesticides and the need to properly follow the directions for different kinds of treatment options recommended by your PMP.
This Store is Clear
Aggressive cleaning and sanitation operations are paramount to grocery store success. Training and certifying managers and staff with resources available from the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals will reinforce store-wide food safety practices. Be sure to display your National Registry of Food Safety Professionals decal to show customers that they are making a solid choice in shopping at a store that keeps their safety in mind.