Posted on: 27 November 2019

How to ensure your business is free of pests

Pests in your restaurant aren’t just a danger to the health and safety of your customers; they can also damage your business’ reputation or even lead to the closure of your business.

To avoid these kinds of problems, follow these steps to ensure that your business is kept free of rodents, flies, cockroaches and other common pests.

Focussing on the right areas

There are certain places that you are more likely to find pests at your business. Keep an eye on these areas to make sure that you stay on top of any pest problems.

Delivery areas

Receiving deliveries is one of the earliest opportunities for pests to get onto your premises, whether this is in delivery packaging or entering whilst doors are open to accept deliveries. Follow these steps to take action against pests before they even get the chance to enter your premises:

  1. Work with your suppliers to find out about the precautions that they take to ensure that they don’t have pests.
  2. Inspect deliveries for signs that a pest has gotten into your delivery before bringing them on site. This could be bites, scratches or droppings from rodents or insects.
  3. Avoid moving your supplies to storage until you have had the chance to inspect both the delivery packaging and the contents within.
  4. Inspect the deliveries thoroughly with torches and search every corner of a box to spot signs of pests.
  5. If you suspect rodents, use a black light to see if there are any marks that could be left by a rodent.

Storage areas

Your storage areas are prime locations for pests to thrive. Storage areas are often quiet and dark with plenty of places for pests to hide. Maintain your pest-free premises by taking these steps:

  1. Make regular inspections of your storage facilities and take note of any signs of pests.
  2. Clean up debris or spillages as soon as possible as these are the things that are likely to attract pests.
  3. Remove the cardboard from your storage area as soon as you have emptied your delivery and keep the waste clear of your storage. Cockroaches have a robust digestive system and can thrive from eating cardboard and even the glue that holds boxes together.
  4. Ensure that any containers are tightly secured so that pests won’t be attracted to any smells.
  5. Use open-backed, stainless steel racking to hold your supplies. Shelving should be at least 15cm off the floor and 45cm away from the wall to stop pests having easy access.
  6. Rotate your stock to get rid of older product quicker instead of having products around for extended periods.

Kitchen

Whilst it isn’t nice to have pests anywhere on your site, the kitchen is the last place that you want them. Pests can usually be kept away from the kitchen by keeping it clean, but if they find a way in they can contaminate your food and damage your reputation if found by inspectors or customers. Take these steps to keep pests out of your kitchen:

  1. Get rid of unwanted moisture in your kitchen by making sure that pipes, sinks and dishwashers aren’t leaking.
  2. Clean up spills from food or liquids as soon as possible, making sure that you have removed them from hard to reach areas.
  3. Never leave dirty dishes overnight.
  4. Remove all rubbish daily and keep it away from your kitchen, storage areas and delivery areas.
  5. Put rubbish into rubbish bags. Never put rubbish into a bin without a liner.
  6. Be vigilant with cleaning around drains as grease and dirt can build up in these areas.

Document your cleaning habits

Any actions that you take to prevent pests getting into your premises should be documented correctly. Outline the steps that you have taken to rid your site of pests, document service records from staff who have performed checks on high-risk areas, list the pesticides that you have used and if you work with a pest control agency, keep a copy of their licence or certificate.

Hospitality insurance with Premierline

The food and hospitality industry is one of the biggest in the UK, and as such, has a huge amount of variety in the businesses that operate in the sector. This variety means that no two businesses are the same, and will each have unique insurance needs.

At Premierline, we understand this need for a bespoke insurance policy, our insurance advisors will assess your business and source business insurance quotes from some of the UK’s most well-known insurance providers to find you cover that is right for your business. 

Source: Zywave inc – Risk Insights – Maintaining a Pest-Free Restaurant

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