Pest Control in Restaurants and the Foodservice Industry

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pest control

The restaurant and food catering industries are some of the toughest to succeed in. Everything from tight regulatory practices to competitors popping up left and right to customer’s taste buds seem to be working against you. However, there is another enemy lurking in the shadows that may be more dangerous than the rest. One that can permanently damage a business’s reputation and leave them with a bad name in the press for years to come. These are pest infestations; they are everywhere and they are nasty. Restaurants and food catering outlets offer one of the best habitats for pests with plenty of warmth and plenty of food. For this reason, these industries have to be the most prudent in regard to watching out for pests which can range from cockroaches and moths, to mice and rats, to beetles and ants, to, ok, I’ll stop.

As a business owner, the people on your premises are under your jurisdiction and you are liable for what happens to them and the whole list of regulations you have to adhere to makes sure you don’t forget that. So let’s discuss the pest control checklist for restaurants and which pest control services for restaurants are needed to avoid the onslaught of what might ensue if left unchecked.

The Importance of Pest Control in Restaurants

The importance of pest control for the food industry is evident from the start. Restaurants are the crossover between retail and catering since both the product and the service need to be maintained at high standards throughout. Unfortunately, pests can put those plans to a halt.

For one, restaurant pest control services will prevent food poisoning from taking place on your property. This pest control for restaurants and kitchens prevents food poisoning which is very serious and can result in your customers at best walking home with an upset stomach and at worst, you being forced to call an ambulance. It can also lead to a spread of diseases which can make your restaurant the centre for the new viral outbreak. Secondly, it can endanger the health of both your staff and customers. Working in a pest-filled environment all-day long, especially in the close quarters of the kitchen that line cooks have to endure is an environment conducive to the rapid spread of germs and disease. This effect carries on to the customers since it is them who eat the food prepared by the line cooks and it won’t be long before everyone has a sour memory of your eatery.

Thirdly, these pests also wreak havoc on a building’s internal framework by laying their eggs or building their nests and spreading through the building’s crevices all in an attempt to build more of their personal lairs and tuning your building’s design complex into their personal labyrinth. It won’t be long before it takes a toll on the building itself and things start collapsing in on themselves from the pressure of holding up the extra weight in places where it wasn’t designed to hold it up. This internal damage is very tricky since it’s hard to notice and when it does come to light, it’s already quite significant and requires a lot to stitch it back up.

All of these invaders pose a real nuisance when it comes to regulations. Restaurants have to stay true to increasingly strict government regulation and when the health inspectors come along, you better have the pest problem solved or else you may be in for some serious legal repercussions with fines in the total of tens of thousands. Remember, these people can enter your property whenever and take samples of your food and can suspend your license if they deem it necessary so its a safe bet to stay on their good side.

Finally, it’s about maintaining a positive business image. Reputation is everything in this industry and if a few people come out of your place with a negative opinion and share that info with all their friends, that’s an immediate loss of a bunch of potential clients. Keeping the business clean and pest-free is not only a matter of principle but also one of the most basic steps to ensure a positive customer experience.

How often should pest control be done in a restaurant setting?

Typically, monthly or quarterly treatments are common but it all depends on the type of industry. For instance, restaurants are prime candidates and so should be visited more frequently, typically having monthly appointments.

Do restaurants need pest control by law?

Ontario laws mandate that all food must be protected from contamination, the food must be processed in a manner safe to eat and businesses are required to maintain records of pest control for at least a year after the fact.

How do I prevent cockroaches from coming into my restaurant?

One of the best tactics is sanitation control. This means constantly cleaning up after food and debris multiple times a day as well as inspecting products that come in for pests since a lot of pests can also come in through packaging. Remember to clean under and behind the kitchen equipment as well!

What are common places prone to infestation in restaurants?

They tend to nestle in food packaging, furnishing, in pantries and walk-in freezers. You can usually tell based on where you can find gnaw marks, droppings or of course, if you see them in person.

How long does the pest removal process take?

This depends on the service required. For example, for a flea service, around 3 to 4 hours is required. On the other hand, if it is a recurring problem such as spiders, beetles, cockroaches, etc., which are quite common in restaurants, you should be able to stay on the property. However, if it has grown into a severe infestation which is up to the discretion of the professionals, you might have to leave and the process may take 2 to 24 hours.  

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