Cockroaches present a significant risk to food safety due to their ability to vector and spread diseases. They contaminate food and food-handling surfaces via their droppings or mechanical transfer from their bodies. On the left are German cockroaches on a petri dish. On the right are colonies of E. coli transferred by the cockroaches.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the German cockroach is a known vector for diseases including:
People may become infected with any of these by eating or drinking a contaminated food or beverage. Cockroaches can also trigger asthma and other allergies.
Learn more about Types of Cockroaches.