Pest Control Regulations For Restaurants 

As a business owner that deals with food, the safety, and satisfaction of your customers and employees should be the top priority; that means keeping your restaurant pest-free.

A pest invasion not only creates a problem financially, but it could mean difficulty with the US Food and Drug Administration. The best way to avoid a business-crushing pest control issue and to keep your customers coming is to have a plan of action in place. The best strategy to keep your business running and the consumers safe is prevention.

Here are the top nine pest control regulation tips to avoid or put a stop to a pest problem in your restaurant.  

Top 9 Pest Control Regulations Tips for Restaurants

1. Keep Track of Your Problem Areas

Pests can invade from just about anywhere, but the best way to combat a problem is to notice where they are living or coming from. Depending on the type of creature, their safe haven can be a number of different places. Insects are drawn to the warmth of lighting. Be careful about where you place your lighting, especially if you have an outdoor dining area.

Additionally, dumpsters are like a smorgasbord for pests like mice, rats, or wildlife. They should be located away from the building and be shut tight to avoid any scavenging.  

Of course, pests don’t have to be attracted to lighting or your trash; they could just mosey through the front door. Any opening can be a problem: windows, doors, vents, etc. Be sure the gaps are sealed, floors are clean, and all entryways are closed when not being used.

2. Pristine Interior

To control pests inside, it is important to take the steps necessary to keep your restaurant clean. The dining area should be cleaned daily and any food residue should be removed. This also extends to food prep and cleaning stations. Additionally, no food should be left standing in the kitchen, food prep, or open in storage areas.

Trash cans and bins should have liners and a tight-fitting top. These receptacles should be emptied daily to remove any possible pest hot spots from your property. Floor drains can also be an issue if not cleaned properly. The best way to keep pests out is to make sure you are doing your part to follow the FDA’s HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles.  

3. Know Your Enemy

If you discover you have an insect or rodent problem, the next steps you take should be identifying the culprit. Your plan is dependent on the type of infestation. A rodent problem can be dangerous. Not only do customers experience repulsion, but they can contract diseases like Salmonella, Listeria, or E. Coli. Rodent droppings can be hazardous and they can do major damage to your property.

Insects like cockroaches and flies can spread diseases, contaminate food, and create major problems as well. Once you identify your pest problem, you can take the steps to fix it. Keep in mind, not all pests will be found out in the open.

4. Check Your Storage

As a restaurant purveyor, it is imperative to check and clean your storage regularly. Routinely inspect your storage bins and throw out anything past the expiration date. Old or poorly kept food can attract all manner of insects, such as beetles, weevils, moths, and mites.

The storage area is also a breeding ground for bacteria, especially near refrigeration units. Anything that may be infested could risk cross-contamination with good food in your storage. Be vigilant and check your storage often.

5. Monitor Areas

It isn’t enough just to check these problem areas once or twice a year. Pest control can get out of hand very quickly. The best action is preventative action. Make it a point to check the problem areas to see what needs updating and to be sure everything is clean. Additionally, you want to be sure everything is up to code in case of a surprise inspection.

If you’ve had previous infestations, come back to those areas more frequently to ensure that the problem has been taken care of. If you want to remain pest free, the bottom line is that you must take action.

6. Survey the Damage

If you do discover a pest problem, do not hesitate. Act quickly; a pest problem in the foodservice industry can mean ruin should the health department find out before you do. What kind of pest problem do you have? How large is it?  Determine the size of the problem, contact a pest control specialist, and remove all contaminated food. You can’t be too careful when handling pest problems.

Top 9 Pest Control Regulations Tips for Restaurants
Keeping things pristine is key to restaurant pest control

7. Build a Plan of Action

Depending on the infestation, have a plan of action to respond in an efficient manner. Remove all contaminated food and sanitize affected areas. If pesticides are needed, be sure to follow the rules and regulations. Have a trained official handle the poisonous materials and keep them away from any area that may be near food. If needed, contact a pest control specialist to handle the matter. It is best to deal with pest complaints and reports quickly.

8. Follow the Food Hygiene Law

If you are following the Food Hygiene laws, you should be able to avoid an infestation. Keep up with regulations involving food safety and take preventative measures against cross-contamination. Essentially, keep areas clean, monitor all activity, and be sure all employees are properly trained on food storage and safety.

9. HACCP and Food Safety Legislation

The best defense against a pest problem is prevention and knowledge. Keep up to date on the most recent rules and regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Food law requires that businesses follow the HACCP principles to ensure the people are safe. Make sure everything is clean and up to code, especially when handling any food and storage. Above all else, remain vigilant. Follow these tips and you can keep your business safe, clean, and running pest free.

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.