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Stand-Up Training: Waste Management

Empower Employees Through Food Safety Training

Help reinforce good food safety practices in your establishment through stand-up meetings. The proper disposal of food waste and other garbage will prevent your establishment from becoming a haven for pests. Use this training outline as a guide to teach your employees how to deal with garbage safely and why it’s important!

Learning Objectives

You may choose to read these learning objectives with your employees as a part of the stand-up training.

At the end of this training, employees will be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between garbage and pest infestations
  • Maintain garbage cans in a clean condition
  • Recognize when garbage should be taken to a dumpster
  • Recognize and correct inappropriate conditions for garbage storage

The Facts

You may choose to read these facts with your employees as a part of the stand-up training.

  • Pests are drawn to places where they can safely eat, hide, and breed. Food establishments that leave garbage where pests can get it provide a place for them to thrive.
  • Insects and rodents may carry a variety of pathogens on their bodies, including Salmonella and Shigella bacteria. These pathogens can spread disease to customers if they contaminate food.
  • Trash should be taken out often. Do not allow a trash can to overflow or pile up.
  • Clean garbage cans regularly. Use plastic liners to prevent drips, crumbs, and other filth from building up in the cans and attracting pests.
  • Full garbage bags should be taken to a dumpster and never left lying in or around your establishment.
  • Dumpster areas should be kept clean, without piled-up garbage bags, spills, or loose trash. Dumpsters should also stay closed when not in use.

Training Activities

Choose the activities that will be most beneficial for your employees. Modify them as needed to fit the training needs of your establishment.

Actively Preventing Pests

Watch: Preventing Pests video

Discuss: What more can we do to prevent pests from entering our establishment?

Challenge: Ask your employees to watch for conditions that could cause a pest infestation. Invite them to report concerns to you when they cannot resolve a waste- or pest-related problem themselves.

Garbage Investigation

Display (optional): Show employees the To the Vector Go the Spoils cartoon.

Discuss: How can we deal with garbage properly? What are the consequences of incorrect garbage disposal?

Demonstrate: Inspect garbage cans and dumpster in your facility for places where pests could hide or find food. If you notice any problems, like open dumpsters or overfull garbage cans, show your employees what to do to prevent a pest infestation. Acknowledge areas where garbage has been stored correctly.

Following Up

Keep an eye on the trash cans and dumpsters areas in and around your establishment to see if employees are applying your training. When you see room for improvement, approach your employees with a direct, positive attitude. Give employees constructive tips for disposing of garbage properly.

Make sure your shift managers and supervisors can answer questions that other employees may have about garbage. Encourage employees to ask questions when they need help instead of guessing at the right answer.

As needed, review this training with your employees.

Training Resources

The Preventing Pests video covers guidelines for proper garbage disposal. It also recounts a pest infestation caused by unsanitary conditions in a restaurant.

View the Spanish version of this video: Prevención de Plagas.

The To the Vector Go the Spoils cartoon reminds employees that garbage cans and dumpsters should be emptied regularly to avoid attracting rodents and other pests.

Did you use this stand-up training in your establishment? We’d love to get your feedback! Take a minute to do our feedback survey.

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— Alyssa Erickson

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