What happens if a customer eats food that was contaminated by rodents?
It’s no secret that rodents and food simply do not mix. The sight of a rodent not only deters your customers from returning, but is also attached with major health issues and public safety concerns.
Rodents are dangerous pests that are associated with many diseases. Rats and mice don’t bother to wipe their feet before entering, and they certainly don’t care where they take care of their bathroom needs. For these reasons, many rodents are dangerous transporters of food-borne pathogens, which can be transmitted through saliva, urine, and droppings. In just one day’s time, a single rat can produce 50 half-inch droppings – that’s over two feet of coverage per rat.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome – A disease carried by some rodents that is spread through direct contact or breathing in dust that is contaminated with rodent urine or droppings. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, stomach problems, dizziness, and chills; and late symptoms, occurring within 4 to 10 days, present as coughing, shortness of breath and lungs filled with fluid. It is not only your customers who are at risk, but your employees’ health as well.
Rat-Bite Fever – Those exposed to rats carrying the bacteria are at serious risk, even if they aren’t bitten. Rat-bite fever causes fever, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and rash. It can be cured with treatment, but if left untreated, rat-bite fever can be fatal.
Salmonellosis – A bacterial infection that can be contracted from eating food contaminated by rat feces. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps and can last four to seven days. Severe cases require hospitalization.
Leptospirosis – A bacterial disease from food or liquids, which have been in contact with rodent urine – even a little amount. Most infected experience minor symptoms such as headaches, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, while 1 in 10 infections can result in meningitis, liver failure, kidney damage, and, in some cases, even death.
There are many more threats such as listeriosis, tularemia, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.