Rentokil has highlighted the perils of fly infestations in food environments which can spell disaster for businesses.
The company said that flies are one of the most likely insects to cause damage and disruption to a food service or food production business.
Flies disturb the production process, hit revenue and pose major threats to health, safety and sanitary compliance – and there are 120,000 species worldwide, posing a health risk to staff, customers and livestock by spreading disease and contaminating goods.
Rentokil commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) to survey decision-makers across five countries to understand the impacts of pest infestations.
The results revealed that a single fly infestation can cause staff illnesses that lead to businesses losing over nine working days every year.
“The risk to food safety is critical,” a Rentokil spokesman said. “Well-publicised incidents of foodborne illness outbreaks continue to reinforce and increase public awareness of food quality and safety, meaning any fly infestation can lead to long term loss of trust from customers and damage to brand reputation.
“No food environment is exempt from responsibility. Flies can affect kitchens, restaurants, pubs and clubs, poultry farms, local food retail, food processing – anywhere food is present. With food safety at the top of the agenda these days, a zero-tolerance approach to flies and any form of pest contamination within the food environment is indispensable.”