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In the part 1, I had informed about the rodent family and here we talk about insects in the kitchen. Insects are a public health and business risk and can cause damage to buildings, fittings, furnishings and food products, transmit disease, cause unsightly marks and smells. Some of the different insects that affect the kitchen are as follows:

  • Cockroaches
  • Flies
  • Stored product insects

Restaurants get infested during time like these: Lockdown where the employees are not able to reach the restaurant and clean/maintain the storage and kitchen areas. Resulting in infestation. This costs the businesses lot money in the form of:

  • Treatment to eradicate pests
  • Replacement of stock that is contaminated
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of business
  • Possible litigation from public and authorities.

The stocking of dry food products and perishable are always stored in different areas. Dry food storage pertains to those foods not likely to support bacterial growth in their normal state & can be infested by insects, these foods include:

  • Flour,
  • Sugar and Salt
  • Cereals, Rice, & other grains
  • Dried beans & peas
  • Ready prepared cereals
  • Oils & shortenings
  • Canned and bottled foods(unopened)
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins and other dried fruits
  • Spices
  • Powdered milk
  • Tea
  • Pantry insects are most likely to infest products that have been opened but also have a tendency to get into unopened packages made of paper thin cardboard, plastic, foil or cellophane wrapped.

    The most susceptible packing are paper or cellophane bags and any unlined packing that allows food odours to escape some insects that infest food have strong jaws which actually chew their way into the package they can enter through sealed seams or even through stitching holes. These insects once inside the infested package tends to multiply and can spread to other stored foods package around it.

    Things to do

    Usually a stored food product can become infested from the production stage and even till it arrives at the restaurant/Kitchen stores. With the lockdown, food products have been left in storage for a long time and have become prone to infestation, foods of any age can become infested.

    Action to be taken:

    • When you find food that is infested, throw it away period
    • Ensure you clean the cabinets & shelves with a Vacuum Cleaner so as to pick up all the crawling insects, spilled/infested material especially from the cracks and corners
    • Ensure to empty the vacuum cleaner/discard the vacuum cleaner bag after use to prevent re-infestation
    • Ensure to wash shelves with detergent, bleach, ammonia, or disinfectant which will prevent the insects from returning
    • In order to prevent re-infestation, store foods in sealable glass, metal, or heavy plastic containers of in freezer/refrigerators till you are sure of the infestation is gone
    • If you have an old food product and are not sure if it is infested you can put them in the freezer at 0o degrees min 4 days or in a pan/cookie sheet and put it into the oven a130o degrees for 30 mins these temperatures will kill any eggs or insects.


    • Insecticides are not recommended for controlling insects in stored food cupboards
    • Household insecticides have no effect on insects inside food packages
    • Any control of insects outside of packaging is temporary unless you find and get rid of the source of the infestation
    • Any food that comes in contact with insecticide must be thrown away and cupboards, containers and dishes must be thoroughly washed and dried before being used again.

    Insects infesting stored dried foods are a common problem where food is stored and these insects that infest dried food are often called “pantry Pests”.

    • These Pantry pests are found when the leave infested foods to crawl or fly around the room
    • All insect stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) may be present at the same time in infested products
    • Pantry pest contaminate more food than they eat
    • They often gather in pots, pans or dishes or on window sills
    • Throwing away contaminated food and cleaning the cupboards and surfaces where the contaminated food was stored is the best way to get rid of these insects.

    By Jude Michael Raj - HSE Specialist/Trainer

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