Rodent Control in Food Businesses

Rodents can be a nightmare for all food businesses. It seems like they appear out of nowhere and disappear into thin air at random. Or do they? Environmental hygienists tell us that in the western world we are never more than ten feet away from a rat, on average. This is quite startling news because this means that rat concentrations may be higher than ever before in history. With the reported upsurge in the levels of reported food poisoning, particularly with reference to salmonella, e. coli and lysteria, the presence of rodents must be controlled professionally within food preparation areas.

In the days when sewers ran open in the middle of the streets of all towns to see rats scurrying around everywhere was no great thing. Nowadays, many of us get very fearful when we see a rat or mouse. It may be common to see rats around farm houses in the countryside but in urban domestic environments if a rat is seen indoors emergency calls will be made to the exterminator.

Rats are not fun to have around the house. They leave the smell of their urine in places they hide and the smell is very hard to get rid of. My house was once targeted by a rat when it was being renovated and we had a real job getting rid of the thing. It decided to set up shop in a washing machine of all places. The smell coming from the washing machine was so bad that I decided to buy a new one and have the old one taken away by the trash collectors.

Like any animal species rodents need an environment upon which they can thrive. They need warmth, food, water and a place to live. Rodents are social animals and do not like to live solitary lives. This means that any environment they decide to live in must be able to support several individuals.

It is our common belief that rodents will come because a slice of bread was left out or because there were a few crumbs that spilled on the floor. This notion is not quite true. Rodents need more than just a solitary piece of food.

Food businesses can be ideal places for rodents to thrive because they can find environments suitable to support whole colonies around food outlets. By using the term environment I relate to the following. Your premises, the neighbouring premises, the drainage system, your roof, the garbage collection area, your store rooms, other store rooms in your immediate area such as bakeries, butchers, vegetable stores, the condition of housing around your business and many other possible factors. All of these elements go towards creating an environment in which rodents can thrive.

There is one thing you must know about rodents. Anywhere they can squeeze their head through they can get their whole body through in a matter of a couple of seconds. Rats will swim through a drain water to trap to squeeze through the grate of a drain. They have no problem doing this.

Highly populated areas are good environments in which to open all sorts of food businesses but they are also perfect environments for rodents. As humans we have developed the ability to control environments and the critical point about pest control in food businesses is the control of the environment around your business.

This is no short order. As I have already suggested there are many factors which contribute to the environment in which your business is situated, from the perspective of a rat or mouse. Firstly there is the question of resident rodent infestation. Is your business situated upon an existing rodent problem? It is a lot harder to get rid of rodents that have inhabited your surroundings for decades than it is to prevent the infestation of rats and mice. This is due to the fact they have the advantage of knowing the terrain like the back of their little fury hands whereas you may be new to the lay of the land.

Infrastructure includes the following areas, drains and sewers, outside walls and piping, rendering, wall cavities, areas under roofs, ovens (especially ovens with insulation), cellars, dry store rooms, trash can areas, box collection areas, vegetation around your areas including trees, neighboring businesses of all types, boxes with stored equipment especially if it is not often used, linen areas, service cupboards and toilet areas.

The places that rodents can inhabit are countless. The key to controlling the presence of rodents in your business is as I have already said to control THEIR potential environment. You must think from the rodents perspective. You must control everything that goes on both in and around your business. Another good indicator to the presence of rats is the presence of cats. Cat are another pest that will inhabit environments which can support them. More often than not they share these environments quite happily with rats. Alley cats are not good ratters because they don’t need them for food. Why should they fight a rat if they have scraps to fed off?

Controlling the environment in which your business is situated is all about a working system and having the staff to do it. Chefs and waiters must not deal in pest control. They must never contaminate themselves by cleaning contaminated areas. All responsible businesses must hire general staff to make sure the area inside and outside the area is kept spotless at all times. Chefs waiters and sore workers must also insure that areas under their direct responsibility and hygiene level are kept hygienic and tidy at all times. Any restaurant team that finishes their shift just ten minutes before going home cannot clean the business properly. At least one hour of solid cleaning is required, twice daily at least, to keep a food preparation business environments clean and controlled from a vermin aspect.

Also, pest control contractors must make fortnightly visits to appraise the vermin presence in and around your business. Likewise drain pumps must be carried out at least once a month by an authorized contracting or municipal authority.

Only when you pay attention to every detail concerning the hygienic state in around your business can you be reasonably assured that you are protecting your customers against disease which is transmitted by rodents and other pests.

3 Simple Steps to Catapult Your Organic Dog Food Business

Many dog owners are now discovering the many benefits of weaning their pets from dry dog food dependency. Although many of these food items are formulated to suit the nutritional needs of our canine companions, many pets eventually end up with one or more medical conditions like obesity, diabetes and even bloat. At the same time, these dry dog food products can become increasingly expensive. If the dog owner continues with this kind of pet feeding, the monthly bills for dog food alone can be staggering. Or, if the dog owner chooses to buy more affordable but less nutritious dog food items, their pets’ health could be compromised.

This is why the organic dog food business is booming these days. In order to launch your own pet food business, here are a few things you should do.

1. Go gourmet as opposed to ordinary organic food fare. If you are a small time organic dog food business owner, you will likely have more success as a gourmet canine food manufacturer. There are already a lot of organic pet food businesses out there, which means that you have a lot of competition to deal with. But gourmet products are more profitable, and because these are considered as luxury items, you can sell at higher prices to a limited group of clienteles.

Just make sure that your gourmet dog food products are unique and distinctive. Use as many organic ingredients as you can.

2. Choose organic packaging as well. Here is one trade secret: many dog owners might be enticed to try your products more if the packaging is eye-catching. If you have enough funds, try to create custom made containers that are both serviceable and environment-friendly. Using recycled materials will help cement your reputation as an organic food manufacturer.

3. Make sure that you make arrangements with courier service. If you are operating your business online, you would rely on heavily on the courier service. Make sure that you make arrangements with them on how you want your products picked up from your place (which is great if you are sending out products by the bulk) and how you want these shipped (next-door-delivery, unmarked boxes, special lining, etc.)

Starting Your Handmade Food Business

Do you love and enjoy cooking? How about considering selling them? Doesn’t it sound nice to sell your home made food and generate income? Now that we are experiencing financial instability, another source of income will be very much appreciated. So if you decide on selling your handmade food, read on to know what you have to do.

Before putting up your food business, you should know the law governing it. You should take a look of the Food and Cosmetic Regulatory Responsibilities. The document will make you aware of legal requirements in manufacturing and distributing food. Also, read about the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 that outlines what you should know about the different ingredients. For more information about FDA’s rules and regulations, visit their web site.

More so you have to comply with the requirements mandated by your state with regard to selling handmade food. And do not forget to protect yourself and your business if something bad arises. Get an insurance policy about business liability. Another important thing to tackle before starting your handmade food business is the registration of your company name at the trademark office.

Once you have completed your legal requirements, you can start selling your handmade food. There several options on how to sell them. You can either sell them in your own store or you can also sell them online. You can also join expos and fairs to gain audience for your goodies.

Having your own store to sell you handmade food will be costly to starting businessmen as you have to set the rented place to entice audience. You have to spend for tables, chairs, utilities and your crew. You will need large amount of capital if you want to do so. But if you already have created a name in handmade food business, your patrons and new customers already know where to head when they want to partake your goodies.

But if you are starting with a little capital, you can consider selling your handmade food online. You can create your own website to sell and talk about your products. But the drawback is, your website must generate high traffic so that you will earn ranking in different search engines. Another option for online selling is be a member of buy and sell online sites across the internet. The site gives opportunity to small and starting businessmen to sell their products on their page. Online stores have already been on the internet for quite some time and you can be certain that many visitors are checking their page on a daily basis.

Selling handmade food will never go out of business as food is a basic need of every individual. As long as you know how to market your goodies and you know how to handle your finance, your business will certainly boom.