Although fewer than half of those surveyed responded that a cockroach had ever been seen in or around the food facility, 40% is still too many (Table 1). This is particularly true because, as explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Cockroaches are primarily nocturnal. Daytime sightings may indicate potentially heavy infestations.” During the day, cockroaches tend to hide in cracks and crevices and can move freely from room to room (or adjoining units of multi-unit complexes) through wall spaces, plumbing, and other utility installations.

Of the 53 facilities at which cockroach(es) were seen, these were discovered:

This is unsurprising given that respondents believe the most common way that cockroaches enter food or beverage facilities is in or on employee belongings (Table 2), which would account for the cockroaches being discovered in employee breakrooms or kitchens and in or around employee lockers.

However, with 20% of respondents believing that cockroaches most commonly come in with deliveries, there seems to be a disconnect with only 4% of sightings noted as being on incoming goods. This could indicate that the cockroaches are getting into the facility quickly (as 13% saw cockroaches in and around pallets or storage areas) and that facilities should be better monitoring suppliers and their incoming goods prior to them being brought in and stored.

In addition to sightings, cockroaches are also being detected through a pest service provider’s report (69%), employee sighting log (60%), and monitors (38%) (Table 3). These responses correlate with the actions taken if a cockroach is seen in a food facility as 68% of respondents write up the sighting in a pest sighting logbook, and 63% contact a pest control technician. In no cases, according to respondents, would the cockroach sighting simply be ignored. (Table 4)

The species of greatest concern to respondents was the German cockroach (bottom chart).

Although 40% expressed no concern with any of the listed potential problems that cockroaches can cause in a food facility, the 60% who expressed concern, saw the most problematic as being disease spread (53%).

Just how concerned were they?...