Food Safety & Pest Control


Can you trust those who sell us our food?

It is now so easy for you to get on social media and crucify restaurants and cafes for not meeting your expectations. Whether it is their service, their product or the cleanliness of the establishment, the food supplier should endeavour to provide their absolute best, before needing Gordon Ramsey.

Now how many times have you walked into a shop and noticed flies buzzing around the food?

Or Ants marching across the footpath outside a shop?

Maybe you’ve not even been able to read the name of the shop past the cobwebs on the signage.

Have you seen those YouTube videos of rats or mice in stores, feeding away like they own the place? Or Cockroaches covering the food preparation areas of the kitchens.


So interesting to note – retail food suppliers are governed by their local council’s own inspector(s).

Unfortunately for a lot of local councils the budget handed down to pay for these inspectors and support staff is minimal. Therefore the food supplier is left to decide how important and what level of pest control they think is warranted, within their establishment, often leaving a store completely unprotected until the problem is to big.

Food establishments should be using guidelines set by the State government for food health standards. Noting things like:

  • Maximum times for food storage;
  • Temperatures of fridges, bain mares, pie warmers etc.
  • Wash hand basins and toilet facilities for staff cleanliness.
  • Cleaning of food preparation surfaces, utensils, floors, drains etc.
  • Is the premises free from pests?

Basically the food safety code recommends,

  • “pests should be prevented in food establishments”.  Not very informative.

Sovereign Pest Control provides professional services to the pro-active food retailers in the Ballarat region. These pro-active retailers understand that baits and chemicals are just like their food, and have a certain life expectancy of freshness, making it important to have a regular pest control program in place to stop infestation from happing. So when you see a Sovereign pest control vehicle or technician in your favorite shop, please don’t panic, instead remember that this is what makes the store one of your favorite’s, because you can feel assured that pests are being prevented and your food is safe.

Prevention is the best practice of pest control for all food outlets. Reacting to pests that are already in the shop is far from ideal and often too late.

Surprisingly many retailers of the food industry don’t know a great deal about pest control, and what control really means. You see some retailers struggle with the difference between prevention and reaction, and by struggling with this leaving the Control of pest’s until the last minute, but as we know all too well for every pest you do see many more are present and remaining in hiding.

Part of the food safety guidelines covers pest control, but a very small mention in the overall scope, which is worrying to us at Sovereign Pest Control.

Feel free to share this with your friends, colleagues, employers and employees. The more establishments we look after the safer our food will be.

There are a number of Food Safety Services within Australia who provide guidelines to food establishments based on ‘Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’. This code is a key tool on food safety for all Food Outlets. We have listed some links below for further reading.

Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 3.2.2 – Food Safety and General Requirements. (Division 6 Section 24 relates to Pest control)

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand link – Appendix 7 Pest Management


Ant invasion?

Ants cause problems primarily when they forage in buildings for food or water, or when they construct nests in buildings and gardens.

Ants can be attracted to a wide range of products, with different species preferring different things such as: sweets, meats, fats or oils. Ants will also search indoors for water during dry periods. When desirable items are found many species will recruit fellow nest to help gather the food and return it to the nest. This can result in large numbers of ants appearing in a short period of time.

Of all insects that infest buildings, ants are the most common. There are many different species of ant. Each is unique in terms of their nesting sites, habits, characteristics and feeding preferences.


The Ant Hierarchy

  • An egg-laying female (Queen)
  • Short-lived males and workers (sterile female)
  • Foragers in gardens or kitchens (Workers)

Treatment for Ant Control

Ant control can be extremely difficult, but there are some things you should know about their behavior that will help you keep them under control.

  • Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking out water and sweet or greasy food substances.
  • Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years and the queen may live as long as 15 years.
  • Colony size: A colony can contain thousands of Ants and whole colonies can at times quickly relocate quickly when threatened.
  • Pheromone trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail containing pheromones for other ants to follow once they locate the food source.
  • Nest locations: Ants can nest anywhere in and around your buildings in lawns, walls, stumps, foundations, and even under concrete slabs making a small crack a new highway into your property.
  • Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches only kill the ants you see and are rarely ineffective as a long term solution to infestations.

Prevention Tips

  • Keep food stored tightly.
  • Clean up any food and drink spills immediately.
  • Rinse out cans and bottles before placing them into the recycling bin.
  • Pick up pet food at night and don’t feed them outdoors.
  • Seal all cracks around your doors and windows, and keep gutters and downpipes clean.

Successful ant control requires more than just a surface spray. At Sovereign, we use the latest Chemicals available including repellent & non-repellent liquid insecticide’s and insecticidal dust.

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