Rats, mice, cockroaches, flies—they all may carry communicable diseases that present severe risks to human health. Food establishments must implement a plan to control pests and, more importantly, prevent pests within the building. These important precautionary steps will help you keep pests out and your customers coming in.
Here are a few tips to minimise the risk of pests in your restaurant.
Exclusion is a series of preventative measures that are meant to stop pests from entering in the first place. The 2 most common methods are:
- Structural Exclusion: Nobody blames rats or mice for trying to find shelter on a cold winter day. Just make sure it isn’t in your restaurant! Seal up all of the holes in the walls and be sure to keep the doors closed at all times whenever possible. Don’t neglect the roof either.
- Shipment Inspection: Your restaurant most likely receives new food every day. Inspect each shipment carefully for signs of pests. This doesn’t mean just looking for the pests themselves. Check for bite marks or tears in the bags or signs of contamination on fruits and vegetables.
Sanitation Best Practices
Exclusion might be the easiest way to keep pests out, but maintaining a sanitary restaurant is by far the most important. Clean every surface in the restaurant immediately after use regardless of what the use was. Aside from that, a few tips for keeping pests out of your kitchen are:
- Storing food at least six inches off the floor
- Storing food away from the walls
- Properly sealing food before you leave for the night
- Sealing workplace equipment to the floor
- Tightly sealing each bin and disposing of rubbish regularly
- Thoroughly cleaning the area around all skips
Bonus Commercial Pest Prevention Tips
Any pests in your restaurant will cost you double what they’d cost in a home. Not only will you need to have them removed, but you could also miss out on business or your reputation could take a hit. Use these bonus tips to make sure it never happens.
- Date Each Food Item: Keeping items sealed is step one for proper sanitation. But you can be extra cautious by never keeping anything longer than its expiration date. Put a date on each container and use the oldest ones first.
- Maintain Your Drains: Restaurants have loads of food going down the drains at all times. Flies love to set up shop in drains full of festering food. Make sure your drains are cleaned out at least once per day.
- Dry Your Floors: Cleaning your floors is priority number 1, but drying is just as important. Surfaces that are wet for too long also attract pests. Don’t just clean the floor and leave.
These tips to minimise the risk of pests in your restaurant should help you keep rats, mice and every other unsavoury guest out of your restaurant (except that guy who comes for fish on Thursday evenings). If you notice signs of an infestation such as droppings, food contamination or structural damage, take action immediately so you don’t lose your restaurant.