March Food Safety Tip: Spring is coming – so are flies!!

Filth Flies just love being in restaurants, and basic preventative measures go a long way to avoiding an infestation.

Filth Flies include Drain and Fruit. These are those little things that don’t fly too fast and just seem to meander around. They can usually be found in or around uncleaned floor drains, soda BiB storage and soda fountains, guns and holsters, and also on liquor bottles.

The slime and mold that builds up in floor drains is where these things lay their eggs, as this is a ready food supply for their offspring. Floor drains should be cleaned frequently, including running a brush down the pipe as well. Don’t forget about the little round drains that need to be opened up. Pest Companies carry a chemical that gets sprayed into the drains at the end of the night that coats the surfaces and eats up any slime.

Soda areas – the sugars and syrups are nirvana for these things. Soda guns, when not cleaned regularly, collect a buildup of slime and syrups inside the nozzle and on the sprayer jets. Most can easily be taken apart. I suggest to leave them soaking in water overnight. The holster is where the last drips are held when you pour a soda. The holsters are connected to a small tube that leads to the drain. I suggest to pour hot water from the coffee machine thru the holster nightly. This breaks up any sugars that are accumulating. Make sure the tube does not belly down. This causes liquids to accumulate in that belly and holster, creating a sugar snake in the tube. If the tube is blocked, when you disconnect it to run water thru the tube until a long snake of sugars come out and the water runs clean.

Soda BiBs are a great invention, but spills or drips need to be cleaned up. The hose ends that screw into the BiBs accumulate excess syrup over time. Unscrew each one, dip it into a cup of hot water to break up the syrup. Just do it one at a time so the hoses don’t get mixed up like I did to myself!!!

Soda fountains need to have their nozzles and inside sprayer removed and soaked overnight. Wiping down the underside and brushing the areas around the nozzle base should be done frequently. Use a flashlight to better see any black or orange buildup.

At the bar, liquor bottles need to be wiped down and the speedy pours need to be cleaned regularly. If you haven’t watched Bar Rescue, I’ve lost count of how many bars have dead fruit flies in the bottles – Yuck! A bar I visit uses those paper cone drink cups to cover the bottles at night, and another saran wraps the bottles, along with the soda gun and holster every night.

Those strips with a yellow material or the little triangle boxes have mixed reviews – some places say they work, some say they are a waste of money. If you do use them, make sure they are placed well away from foods and beverages or where a splash can drip onto foods.

If you ripen fruits at room temp, use or refrigerate the fruits as they ripen. These pests eat and deposit their babies on ripened and rotting fruits. Monitor the product daily.

Bottom line – maintaining cleanliness is the key to making sure these disgusting vermin don’t find a home in your restaurant. They are difficult to get rid of, and keeping everything clean is the best protection.

To learn more detail about Food Safety procedures, or to set up an independent discounted audit of your facility, please contact Peter Bellisario of Peter B Food Safety Audits at  or (808)491-7766. Check out my new website –



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