Why are clean floor drains important?

Under an ice machine

An area that is easily overlooked until you have an invasion of Drain Flies is keeping your floor drains clean. Dirty and slimy drains are frequently cited on DoH reports and noted by your Pest Control Operator.

Floor drain bowls gradually buildup the organic material that is dumped down the sink. What builds up is a slime. Drains under soda dispensers easily buildup slime from the sugars in the soda that goes down the drain. These need to be scrubbed – I recommend once a week. All strainers and covers need to be cleaned, as well as the pipes leading to the drain. Take a look at the extreme photo. There is also a long-handled brush designed to be put in the drain to scrub the side walls of the pipe after the drain bowl. A chemical is available from your Pest Company that is put down the drain the last thing at night. It coats the surfaces and eats the slime. It is effective, but kind of pricey, and periodic scrubbing is still needed.

Why do we have bugs?

Drain Flies – as the name suggests – live, feed and lay their eggs in that slime. The way they spread bacteria is by landing on food surfaces after being in that slime. These also become all you can eat buffets for cockroaches and other bugs. I worked in a kitchen that had white walls, but drain flies liked to hang out on the ceiling and corners of the walls. When you looked closely, there were faint brown spots on the wall corners. These brown spots were drain fly poops – Yuck! Worse – I was told that if they have no food available, they will go back to these spots and eat from them. Most people just wave them away from foods, but they are seriously disgusting.

Frequent cleaning is the best way to prevent buildup of slime. Add it to a weekly cleaning schedule. If you have a larger facility, draw a map where all the drains are, and include the floor troughs and small round drains usually in the middle of the floor, and don’t forget under the ice machine!!

To learn more detail about Food Safety procedures, or to set up an independent discounted audit of your facility, please contact Peter Bellisario of PeterBFoodSafetyAudits.com at peter@peterbfoodsafety.com  or (808) 491-7766. Check out my website –  www.PeterBFoodsafety.com


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