You don’t want these ‘Tourists’, and ServSafe© Classes

We are all hopeful and excited our tourism industry is winging back. But we need to keep certain winged tourists out of our operations. We are talking about Filth Flies. Better known as Fruit or Drain Flies, they are difficult to get rid of once they develop in your restaurant, and are really disgusting little things that most customers or staff wave away without thinking they are too bad. As our weather starts to warm back up, these and all vermin will become more active.

These types of flies are very good mommies. They lay their eggs in the organic slime that develops in your floor drains and drain pipes. This way the babies have a ready to eat buffet when they hatch. Their preferred food is rotting organic matter and are frequently found in areas such as:

*that slime in drains

*black, white or clear slime that forms on leaky pipes and undersides of ice bins

*any over ripe bananas or fruit

*a single rotting potato in a bin or even the middle of an unopened case

*dried balsamic vinegar on bottle tops

*sticky syrup on soda BIB connection and hoses

*uncleaned can openers and base

*soda guns & holster drain tubes

*beer tap/soda fountain drains

The list could go on and on. In your operation, grab a flashlight and gloves, and get on your knees to look in areas that you probably have never seen before!! I managed an operation that had a major problem with fruit flies. We discovered there were over 2 dozen drains. To eradicate the flies, we made a map of where all the drains were, and weekly we had a guy stay to open each drain and scrub the bowl and down the drain. It took over 2 months to get rid of all the flies.

The best way to prevent these – and all – vermin is keeping them out and making sure you have a robust cleaning program in place. Cleaning of all areas is key. When I do a restaurant audit, the vast majority have drain violations. I have loads of photos, many with heavy heavy accumulation that the manager tells me they clean it weekly. Hmm.

There are also those yellow strips (please don’t hang from your beer taps!!) and pyramids. There are mixed results on those. Your Pest Company may offer a type of enzyme that you spray into a floor drain at the nd of the day, and the enzymes eat the organic slime. These do work over time, but can be quite expensive. Bottom Line: frequent and regular cleaning is the best way to prevent them.


Peter B will be conducting a ServSafe Food Managers on April 29 and May 27, both at Big City Diner Windward. ServSafe is the best and most recognized Food Safety Certification, and the classes are always informative and interesting. Students do need to be pre-registered, and Hawaii Restaurant Association Members do have a discount available, plus a portion from each student is donated to the HRAEF.

Please contact Peter for information and details on these classes.

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ServSafe is a trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. National Restaurant Association ® and the arc design are trademarks of the National Restaurant Association.


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