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employee break room cockroach

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#1 TJW

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 02:38 AM

I have searched other topics here that have addressed employees and cockroaches and they were helpful.  I would like to know though, what are your tried and true methods of addressing the potential that cockroaches are being brought in by employees?  We have only found them in our break room.  NO risk to production areas...yet.

 

We work with a reputable pest contractor who is certain they are being brought in my employees.

We have provided literature to employees - brochures we purchased from our pest contractor - on signs of cockroaches, how to prevent, etc.

We have posted similar signage in the break rooms.

We have provided training for them that includes home control.

 

Would it help if we provided a cooler or refrigerator for their lunches?  Would cockroaches not like that temperature?  Currently lunches are left on break room tables in their lunch boxes.

Has anyone inspected lunch boxes? We certainly don't want to embarrass anyone but...

 

Thank you for your time!  I want to get on top of this before the issue becomes bigger.



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:47 AM

I have searched other topics here that have addressed employees and cockroaches and they were helpful.  I would like to know though, what are your tried and true methods of addressing the potential that cockroaches are being brought in by employees?  We have only found them in our break room.  NO risk to production areas...yet.

 

We work with a reputable pest contractor who is certain they are being brought in my employees.

We have provided literature to employees - brochures we purchased from our pest contractor - on signs of cockroaches, how to prevent, etc.

We have posted similar signage in the break rooms.

We have provided training for them that includes home control.

 

Would it help if we provided a cooler or refrigerator for their lunches?  Would cockroaches not like that temperature?  Currently lunches are left on break room tables in their lunch boxes.

Has anyone inspected lunch boxes? We certainly don't want to embarrass anyone but...

 

Thank you for your time!  I want to get on top of this before the issue becomes bigger.

 

Hi TJW,

 

I deduce "brought in by employees" = (suspected) to be caused by employee lunchboxes/eating habits.

 

Location lunchroom ?

 

IMO cockroaches are ubiquitous (endemic?) in certain geographical regions, even when not  visible.

 

More (accessible) food = more cockroaches.

 

Some (most?) Companies ban food being brought into the Production  "Arena" by employees.

 

I'm curious as to the suggested "home control" recommendations ? Foods to avoid due cockroach favourites ?


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#3 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 11:54 AM

I am really intrigued by "brought in by employees"  are you looking at employees sabotaging the company or is this just a case of them coming in on clothing.  A refrigerator for lunches would help.  It doesn't look good for any inspection when you have lunches just sitting all over the place in a lunchroom.  What type of cleaning procedures do you have in your break rooms?  You may need to step up those procedures and keep your break room well lit and clean.  The employee training is on point.  Which pest control company are you using and are they using a star-burst method to find out the cockroach source?  You may have them in the walls if this has been an issue that has been left unchecked for some time.  Hope this helps.

 

Cheers!


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#4 QAGB

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 01:00 PM

We had a similar issue, and it was also due to employees as well. It wasn't a prevalent issue, mostly infrequently. It wasn't due to sabotage, as we too, only found evidence of roaches in the breakroom. When we did have this happen, it usually occurred around a significant hiring period with multiple new employees at once. I always chalked it up to being employees new to the food industry not understanding GMPs and pest control awareness.

 

As suggested, buying a refrigerator is a good idea. You don't want food laying around on tables, and employees probably would prefer their food doesn't sit out in the open at room temperature for a long time. May even be a morale boost as well.

 

Unfortunately I don't have any other ideas for you, because everything you're doing with training and pest control seems fine. Keep sending out discussion topics around pest control to your employees on an increased frequency to keep reinforcing the idea. 

 

I would not suggest doing lunch searches though.


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#5 kfromNE

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 01:39 PM

I'm guessing the employees are bringing cockroaches unintentionally. Sadly to say, the employees home is most likely infested. He/she may know this and try to prevent bringing them in but cockroaches can hide well. Cockroaches do like warm, tight locations so a fridge might help. 

 

I can say from experience, it doesn't take much to get cockroaches. The apartment complex I lived in was well kept and clean (I never even found a fly or spider in it and I lived there for over 3 years - in a rural Midwest town). However the previous renter must have brought a box in that had some cockroaches hiding in it. Luckily for me, I had very diligent landlords that took care of the problem right away and even cleaned my apartment cleaned for free.


Edited by kfromNE, 20 February 2020 - 01:47 PM.

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#6 SQFconsultant

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:34 PM

Had similar issue at more than a handful of client locations.

 

Two were traced back to employees that were not cleaning out their lunch coolers and roaches at home were breeding in them.

One was traced to a vending supplier that would bring reloads in cardboard boxes and most know roaches love cardboard.

Another was traced back to employee lockers in a nearby room where employees ate snacks, etc.

 

All a roach needs is a tiny bit of food and a little moisture and they will make themselves at home, they will feed on glue on cardboard boxes and love vending machines, lunchboxes, etc.

 

They are pretty hardy in braving the cold, so a refrigerator will not deter them.

 

I have two clients that issue the employees company provided lunch coolers that are inspected at arrival - they also have refrigerators for the employees to place their coolers into them.  They no longer have issues.

 

Here's a funny for you -- I was inspecting a sweet potato processing company one day years ago and ran into the pest control operator (management cringed when this happened), he went on to explain that the facility had 2 types of roaches...

 

American and German

 

He said the Americans were pretty lazy and only stayed in one area mostly while the Germans were very active and constantly multipling and they were all over the place.


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Warm regards,
 
 
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Internal Auditor Training/eConsultant/CB/SQF-GAP/PCQI OnlineTraining

 

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com

 

URGENT MESSAGE TO FOOD COMPANIES - https://bit.ly/2U1svjR

 


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#7 TJW

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 08:00 PM

Hi TJW,

 

I deduce "brought in by employees" = (suspected) to be caused by employee lunchboxes/eating habits.

 

Location lunchroom ?

 

IMO cockroaches are ubiquitous (endemic?) in certain geographical regions, even when not  visible.

 

More (accessible) food = more cockroaches.

 

Some (most?) Companies ban food being brought into the Production  "Arena" by employees.

 

I'm curious as to the suggested "home control" recommendations ? Foods to avoid due cockroach favourites ?

Hi Charles -

 

Yes, suspected to be caused by employee lunchboxes.

 

The lunchroom is the main employee entrance.  Off of the lunch room are 4 doors - one leads to men's locker room, one leads to the women's locker room, one leads to the supply room, and one leads to a hand washing room (from there a hallway that leads to production).  On the other side of one wall is the boiler room. 

 

For home control, the material is focusing on how to prevent them in your home.

 

I am just curious that the pest provider quickly pointed the direction of employees.  I want to be sure that they aren't "pointing the finger" when there could be other things they could do.  They have sprayed and placed out additional monitors as well.

 

Thank you for the feedback!



#8 TJW

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 08:02 PM

Had similar issue at more than a handful of client locations.

 

Two were traced back to employees that were not cleaning out their lunch coolers and roaches at home were breeding in them.

One was traced to a vending supplier that would bring reloads in cardboard boxes and most know roaches love cardboard.

Another was traced back to employee lockers in a nearby room where employees ate snacks, etc.

 

All a roach needs is a tiny bit of food and a little moisture and they will make themselves at home, they will feed on glue on cardboard boxes and love vending machines, lunchboxes, etc.

 

They are pretty hardy in braving the cold, so a refrigerator will not deter them.

 

I have two clients that issue the employees company provided lunch coolers that are inspected at arrival - they also have refrigerators for the employees to place their coolers into them.  They no longer have issues.

 

Here's a funny for you -- I was inspecting a sweet potato processing company one day years ago and ran into the pest control operator (management cringed when this happened), he went on to explain that the facility had 2 types of roaches...

 

American and German

 

He said the Americans were pretty lazy and only stayed in one area mostly while the Germans were very active and constantly multipling and they were all over the place.

 

That's a funny story - thank you for sharing!   :lol2:



#9 TJW

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 08:03 PM

I am really intrigued by "brought in by employees"  are you looking at employees sabotaging the company or is this just a case of them coming in on clothing.  A refrigerator for lunches would help.  It doesn't look good for any inspection when you have lunches just sitting all over the place in a lunchroom.  What type of cleaning procedures do you have in your break rooms?  You may need to step up those procedures and keep your break room well lit and clean.  The employee training is on point.  Which pest control company are you using and are they using a star-burst method to find out the cockroach source?  You may have them in the walls if this has been an issue that has been left unchecked for some time.  Hope this helps.

 

Cheers

Thank you!  What is the starburst method?  



#10 The Food Scientist

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 08:38 PM

Came across this just yesterday....I hope this is not where you're located! haha

 

https://www.sacurren...s-through-march

 

I did have the same exact issue. Yup pest told us it is being bought by employees. What we did is I enforced a rule to store lunchboxes in fridge at all times, and that they should report any pest issues they have at home. We did a deep clean inside the lunch rooms, placed baits and made sure to report any leaks or such. Also you may want to check your drains, we did have a few coming up from the drains, so we bought this caustic solution that took care of it. Like Glenn mentioned, you may wanna check any incoming shipments. Oh and pallets! If you store them in a certain area, roaches love living there! We started storing them in a cleaner, better maintained area and always monitored them. Cockroaches are very hard to control, especially if you live in the south aghh. Good news is that we saw an improvement, everyone was willing to work to control the pest issue. It needs patience! 

 

Don't go through lunch boxes :) It won't really "solve" anything.


Edited by The Food Scientist, 20 February 2020 - 08:39 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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#11 TimG

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 09:16 PM

At a previous facility, we had customers suddenly complain of a few roaches on the product (in between super sack and liner, thankfully not IN the product). The complaint blindsided us, as this NEVER happened previously. Heck we never even had a roach found in this facility. Long story short, the culprit was brought to our attention when we were discussing how this could happen and another employee overheard us. The employee says "Customer found roaches, and you guys don't know where they are coming from? Here follow me, I'll show you." Of course in my head I'm thinking..well buckle up, this is going to be good. We walk in the employee lunch room; the employee leading us looks for a certain coat hung up on one of the coat racks, taps it a few times, and low and behold guess what falls out? Several live roaches!

This was in Michigan, an employment at will state. The offending person was also a temporary worker. I called him in immediately and we told him his services were no longer required. We had sanitation clean the heck out of the area where the coat racks were. The pest control company was already aware of the issue and had been on site to address it, we informed them we possibly found the 'source,' they renewed their treatments based on that possibility, and the roaches never again showed up.

 

I actually use this true story in my GMP training as an example of how if for any reason or at any time your poor hygiene puts the food product at risk, our food facility can and will terminate your employment.



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#12 The Food Scientist

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 09:43 PM

At a previous facility, we had customers suddenly complain of a few roaches on the product (in between super sack and liner, thankfully not IN the product). The complaint blindsided us, as this NEVER happened previously. Heck we never even had a roach found in this facility. Long story short, the culprit was brought to our attention when we were discussing how this could happen and another employee overheard us. The employee says "Customer found roaches, and you guys don't know where they are coming from? Here follow me, I'll show you." Of course in my head I'm thinking..well buckle up, this is going to be good. We walk in the employee lunch room; the employee leading us looks for a certain coat hung up on one of the coat racks, taps it a few times, and low and behold guess what falls out? Several live roaches!

This was in Michigan, an employment at will state. The offending person was also a temporary worker. I called him in immediately and we told him his services were no longer required. We had sanitation clean the heck out of the area where the coat racks were. The pest control company was already aware of the issue and had been on site to address it, we informed them we possibly found the 'source,' they renewed their treatments based on that possibility, and the roaches never again showed up.

 

I actually use this true story in my GMP training as an example of how if for any reason or at any time your poor hygiene puts the food product at risk, our food facility can and will terminate your employment.

 

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So that coat has been hanging there for a long time or whaaaat!!!!!! I need to use that example in my future pest control trainings. So you terminated the coat owner, correct? And not the employee that complained?


Edited by The Food Scientist, 20 February 2020 - 09:45 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#13 mahantesh.micro

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 08:26 AM

Had similar issue at more than a handful of client locations.

 

Two were traced back to employees that were not cleaning out their lunch coolers and roaches at home were breeding in them.

One was traced to a vending supplier that would bring reloads in cardboard boxes and most know roaches love cardboard.

Another was traced back to employee lockers in a nearby room where employees ate snacks, etc.

 

All a roach needs is a tiny bit of food and a little moisture and they will make themselves at home, they will feed on glue on cardboard boxes and love vending machines, lunchboxes, etc.

 

They are pretty hardy in braving the cold, so a refrigerator will not deter them.

 

I have two clients that issue the employees company provided lunch coolers that are inspected at arrival - they also have refrigerators for the employees to place their coolers into them.  They no longer have issues.

 

Here's a funny for you -- I was inspecting a sweet potato processing company one day years ago and ran into the pest control operator (management cringed when this happened), he went on to explain that the facility had 2 types of roaches...

 

American and German

 

He said the Americans were pretty lazy and only stayed in one area mostly while the Germans were very active and constantly multipling and they were all over the place.

 

To add to fun part.... Actually there are 8 species of cockroaches.

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#14 TimG

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 02:47 PM

"So you terminated the coat owner, correct? And not the employee that complained?"

Yes, we terminated the coat owner. It's been a few years, but if I remember correctly, I bought the employee that spoke up lunch. He did tell me later he felt pretty bad that the temp worker lost his job because of it, but I laid out how we could all be losing our jobs if customers received more product like that and we didn't get to the bottom of it. Also that the temp worker didn't technically "lose his job" because the temp company would likely find him a different position with a different company.

 

Something else I just remembered. The pest control guy said it was very unlikely that the roaches emigrated from the break room where the coat was stored, since the break room would be where they would want to stay (food). He said it was more likely they hitched a ride on the temp employee out when the temp went to perform his duties. He said he had never run into that before, but that if the roaches didn't show up again it was probably the case. The roaches were never again an issue..



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#15 The Food Scientist

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 02:51 PM

To add to fun part.... Actually there are 8 species of cockroaches.

 

True, here in the USA the most two common  ANNOYING species are the American & German. 

 

American are more disgusting looking and German are harder to control! (As our pest consultant says). 


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#16 QAGB

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 07:41 PM

At a previous facility, we had customers suddenly complain of a few roaches on the product (in between super sack and liner, thankfully not IN the product). The complaint blindsided us, as this NEVER happened previously. Heck we never even had a roach found in this facility. Long story short, the culprit was brought to our attention when we were discussing how this could happen and another employee overheard us. The employee says "Customer found roaches, and you guys don't know where they are coming from? Here follow me, I'll show you." Of course in my head I'm thinking..well buckle up, this is going to be good. We walk in the employee lunch room; the employee leading us looks for a certain coat hung up on one of the coat racks, taps it a few times, and low and behold guess what falls out? Several live roaches!

This was in Michigan, an employment at will state. The offending person was also a temporary worker. I called him in immediately and we told him his services were no longer required. We had sanitation clean the heck out of the area where the coat racks were. The pest control company was already aware of the issue and had been on site to address it, we informed them we possibly found the 'source,' they renewed their treatments based on that possibility, and the roaches never again showed up.

 

I actually use this true story in my GMP training as an example of how if for any reason or at any time your poor hygiene puts the food product at risk, our food facility can and will terminate your employment.

 

 

Well, that was disgusting.  :bug:  I'm glad the employee overheard the discussion and was able to point out the issue. 

 

We used to train our employees to tell us anytime they saw any type of pest (of course not in the human variety). They often would bring us the offending subjects (not that we really wanted them). Other times, they'd just tell us what they saw and where, and we would go check the area and make note of it for our PCO when they would come in for the routine inspection. Our employees seemed to get a kick out of finding things.







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