Flies: A Health Threat

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | May 19, 2010

Most facilities are especially vigilant against the first two pests, so a guest might never encounter them.

However, flies are not nocturnal or shy, so we are used to seeing one as a minor nuisance in a hotel room. However, a fly in a food service area could quickly escalate into an infestation that could spread disease-causing bacteria to your guests.

Why are flies threatening your guests and employee's health, and what can you do about it? The University of Florida partnered with Orkin to conduct a study on the potential of pathogens being spread by flies. The research revealed that common house flies carry many bacteria, among them one that has been linked to meningitis, the first time the bacteria Acinetobacter baumanni has been associated with flies. Other newly detected pathogens from the study were Bacillus pumilus, which can cause food poisoning, and Enterobacter sakazakii, which can cause urinary tract, pulmonary and bloodstream infections.

Nine pathogens discovered on flies

University of Florida researchers, under the direction of Jerry Butler, Ph. D., grew cultures from flies collected at the back-door areas and rear dumpsters of four restaurants in Gainesville, FL. Within hours, the samples were swarming with nine different organisms. Researchers found pathogens that can cause peritonitis, diarrhea, typhoid fever, bacillary dysentery and staph infection. The flies also carried Escherichia coli and Shigella sonnei. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that shigellosis was one of the three most common food borne illnesses diagnosed in 2000. The overall incidence of E. coli O157 infections, which can be derived from Escherichia coli bacteria, has increased in recent years as well.

Results probably typical

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.