Keeping pests out of your restaurant should be the main priority. Not only is it a stringent requirement to continue operating a food business in the UK, but it will also keep your customers healthy and coming back for more. No matter how good or special your food is, one stray rodent or instance of a weird smell is enough reason for customers to bolt out the door and never return.
If you want to avoid such situations from happening, you need to be aware of the most common pest-attractive scenarios in any restaurant and have the means to address them. Here are six common hot spots and how you can prevent them from affecting your restaurant:
Entrances, Exits, and Any Hole in the Wall
Rodents and roaches love creeping into every small dark crevice and stay there, waiting for the opportune time to take advantage of any loose morsel of food available to them. For this reason, you should try to secure your ingress and egress points as much as possible, such as keeping the windows and doors closed as much as possible. Before opening, you should also inspect your restaurant for every nook and cranny on the ceilings, walls, and floor, and seal away every hole you find.
Dining and Food Preparation Areas
Religiously keep all of your dining and kitchen areas clean, ensuring that there are no crumbs, bits, and even splashes left to attract pests. Not only are they unsightly, but pests often carry with them diseases that can potentially shut down your whole restaurant.
Storage areas are often paid the least attention to because they are usually kept out of sight, and out of mind. Your storage area should actually be even cleaner than your dining areas as the source of your produce is the heart of your restaurant.
You should store your produce in tightly sealed containers, stacked at least 16 cm above the ground and 30 cm away from the walls to facilitate easier cleaning. You should also keep an inventory of your goods, making sure to use the First In, First Out method. Pay special attention to slow-moving products, and throw them out before they are past expiration to prevent contamination and pests.
The combination of moisture and darkness that surround your establishment’s floor drains are an oasis for pests. If they are not kept clean enough, they can serve as an entrance for insects and even rodents to your establishment. If they are not clean regularly, they can get clogged as well. This is why you should keep the drain floors clean and covered, and use chemical cleaners to dissolve any solid clogs. Furthermore, you should keep a regular maintenance schedule with plumbers to ensure free-flowing pipes and functional drainage systems.
Your trash cans are there to collect waste, but the concentration of loose food items and other biodegradable waste will easily attract all kinds of pests. To prevent that, your bins should be emptied regularly, even when they are not yet full. It’s also best to sanitise the bins to keep them from smelling and becoming a host to harmful bacteria and mould.
Depending on where your restaurant is located, you may run into a problem with insects that are attracted to light sources at night. You may use traditional methods of keeping insects away by using bug zappers and glue traps. On top of that, it may also serve you well to be strategic about using light sources in your restaurant. For example, installing a light source near your entrance may allow insects to enter your restaurant as guests open and close the doors.
Pest control is the utmost concern for any food establishment. To keep these critters away, you will need to ensure that there is nothing in your establishment that will attract them. This will include religiously cleaning your establishment, as well as ensuring that there are no holes or crevice for them to hide in.
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