How to keep your restaurant pest-free

The mouse is drinking coffee

Warm and with plentiful supplies of food, restaurants are very susceptible to pest infestations. An influx of mice, rats, or cockroaches will do more than pose a serious health risk to your diners – it will also damage your long-term reputation, and may even get you closed down. To make sure that your establishment remains pest-free (and to avoid a hefty fine), read on for tips from our professional pest-controllers. 

 

Taking deliveries

 

Restaurant kitchens are hectic places. Amidst the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to cut corners – if you do, however, you might pay a steep price down the line. One thing that’s often skipped is checking the quality of food deliveries to the kitchen. Whilst the quantity of produce is checked, the quality can fall by the wayside, only to be discovered later on. 

If products aren’t given a once-over before entering the kitchen, an infestation can easily break out. Dried food products, such as cereals, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, can all harbour a number of pests – from beetles to mites. To avoid this happening, take a sample of products arriving in the kitchen and closely inspect them to ensure that nothing is hiding away in the packaging. 

 

Storing food 

 

Once your food has made it through the door, it’s time to put it away. How you do this can have a significant impact on the likelihood of your restaurant experiencing a pest infestation. As a general rule, all food in your restaurant should be stored in the right place, at the right temperature, and for the right amount of time

There are many rules on food storage in restaurant kitchens, but here are some of the main ones to prevent dangerous bacteria developing and pests coming in: 

  • Separate cooked from raw foods, and label everything clearly 
  • Keep raw meat in sealed containers at the bottom of fridges/storage containers 
  • Once opened, store packaged foods in sealed containers 
  • Do not store food on the floor 

 

Cleaning routine 

 

It goes without saying, but a stringent and regular cleaning routine is one of the best ways to keep your restaurant pest-free. At the end of each service, wipe down every work surface, mop the floors, and make sure the ovens, hobs, and fryers are spotless. Any scraps of food left lying around will attract unwanted visitors. 

Always remember to take the rubbish out after each shift, and dispose of it properly outside. A poorly organised disposal system out of the kitchen will also act as a magnet for pests, such as mice and rats. 

It’s useful to have a list of cleaning activities to complete every day, stating who is to undertake what and when. Not only does this help you keep on track, but it will be needed when Health and Safety officials come to visit. 

 

Kitchen pest proofing 

 

Aside from strict hygiene practices, the risk of a restaurant pest invasion can be reduced by proofing. This involves assessing the building for entry points for common pests, and either blocking them or reducing access. For effective proofing, it’s always best to call on a professional pest controller – they’ll know the most common areas to check, and will provide solutions that don’t interfere with the running of your restaurant. 

 

Finding rat droppings on the floor or a cockroach scuttling across a worktop is the stuff of nightmares for most restaurant owners. By taking some simple precautions, however, you can help to prevent a fully-fledged pest outbreak. 

 

If you’re looking for advice on restaurant kitchen pest control, get in contact with Inoculand. Based in London and with years of experience, our expert pest controllers are on hand to provide you with all your kitchen needs to be pest-free.