Being in the pest control industry, I have developed a habit of scouting for potential pest contamination – especially at restaurants. I simply cannot endure the (g)astronomical pain of food poisoning, if you know what I mean.
While visiting one of my favourite food joints in Kuala Lumpur, I quickly surveyed the premises. Cleanliness = check; flies = minimal; waiter = looked clean; cook = wearing apron and cap.
I was very, very satisfied and almost endorsed a great star rating until I saw the location of the fly control unit…. Horror of horrors, it was placed just above the food preparation area.
But what is the matter you ask? Aren’t insect or bug zappers a pest control unit? Unfortunately no, not in this case. The mechanism is pretty simple. The UV light emitted by the lamp attracts the flies, the flies venture into the electric grid and boom! They are blown into hundreds of little fly pieces.
This is where the problem comes in. When insects are zapped, their body is broken up into hundreds of fragments that are scattered in all directions. According to auditing bodies including the AIB (American Institute of Baking), these tiny fragments can travel up to 3m and disperse allergens.
And there it was, the bug zapper just above the food prep area. Instead of functioning as a pest control unit, it had been transformed into an automatic insect fragment dispersing unit! Every platter of food below the unit will be automatically garnished with fresh, finely grounded, mildly grilled flies. Despite my hunger for a hot plate of curry rice, the additional “spice” and garnishing is simply a turn off.
To all the food handlers out there, please do us diners a big favour and consult your pest control specialist about the placement of fly control units.
(Click here for more information on insect light trap).
Written by Loke Boon Eng – Technical Manager