Animals and pests

Pest management

The presence of vermin and insects in or near your premises is bad for business and against the law. Insects and vermin carry diseases. They can contaminate your food, make your customers sick, and will drive away customers.

What are the most common pests?

  • Cockroaches live and hide in sewers and drains. They like dark and moist areas – especially kitchens. Bacteria are carried on their legs, body and in their saliva. When cockroaches crawl over equipment, utensils and eventually food, they cause foodborne illness.
  • Flies lay their eggs in warm, moist places like waste food and rubbish. In high summer temperatures, the egg can develop into a maggot, and then an adult fly, in as little as ten days. A fly eats by vomiting liquid from its stomach onto the food. The liquid melts the solid food, and the fly then mops up the liquid with its mouth. The vomit contains bacteria, which are spread onto food and equipment. The fly also carries bacteria on its feet, hair and in its poo.
  • Rats and mice can ruin food crops, buildings and electrical cables, as well as spreading diseases. Most of the damage they do is physical, like gnawing. Food can become contaminated by their droppings, urine and hairs. They carry bacteria from soil, waste food and rubbish, on their fur and feet, spreading them to uncovered food and surfaces.

How do I control pests?

Pests need the same things we do – shelter, warmth and food. Take away these things and they will soon find somewhere else to live.

  • Make it hard for pests to enter your premises by making sure your building and structures don’t have anywhere for them to hide. e.g. seal any holes in walls, and behind equipment.
  • Keep surfaces clean so there is nothing for them to eat.
  • Contact a licensed pest control operator to visit regularly.

How do I prevent pests?

  • Call a licensed pest controller to come and check your premises. The pest controller will recommend a pest control program based on your business’s needs. Make sure the pest controller gives you a certificate proving that a pest treatment has been done.
  • Check deliveries for pests and droppings, and if any food is found to be contaminated, refuse the delivery and contact the supplier. 
  • Regularly check the premises for pests by looking in cupboards where food is stored for signs like droppings, packages with holes in the bottom, and cockroaches behind refrigerators and equipment.
  • Undertake a cleaning program.
  • Cover all food with secure lids.
  • Repair all holes in walls, floors and ceilings.
  • Place screens on doors and windows.
  • Remove waste regularly and store away from food handling activities.
  • Clean waste storage areas regularly and store away from food handling activities.

Animals and pets

Animals are generally not allowed in a food business; however, you can keep live seafood, fish and shellfish.

Assistance dogs are allowed in customer eating and drinking areas. Find out more on the Queensland Government website - access rights for guide, hearing and assistance dogs

You can choose to allow dogs in your outdoor dining area. Find out more on the Queensland Government website - about dogs in outdoor dining areas and tips for maintaining food safety standards.