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Dealing with Pests in the Restaurant

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Dealing with Pests in the Restaurant

If the proper pest management efforts and precautions are not taken, health and financial risks can be much higher for fast food restaurants. Pest control in food industry facilities is slightly more challenging than residential pest control due to the public nature of restaurants, including public health, reputation, effective management, and the nature of food processing.

Common Challenges

Sanitation. The main concern in fast food restaurant pest control is public health. With all of the hustle and bustle that occurs in these restaurants, insects can accidentally get processed into or their feces or saliva can come in contact with food. With the potential to pass E. coli, staph or food poisoning on to customers, flies and cockroaches alone make up for 95 different kinds of bacteria and human diseases. Since many fast food establishments serve a high volume of customers, it can be easy for one source of contamination to spread to many in a short period of time.

Reputation. In order to keep customers satisfied and returning to their establishment, fast food restaurants must provide them with a reliable product. If the customer's safety is compromised, then the reputation of a restaurant can be easily tarnished, especially when there is a lack of restaurant pest control.

Comfort and safety. Due to the use of harmful chemicals that can permeate the air and get in contact with food prep areas, pest control in food industry settings can pose a health risk to customers if not handled carefully. Visible pest control, such as insect catchers, traps or bait may tip off customers that there is a pest issue. Efficient pest control in restaurants involves unobtrusive methods that will aid restaurants in offering a safe and comfortable environment to her customers.

Effective Methods for Fast Food Restaurants

Educate staff. It's important that you inform your managers and food handlers about the risks of pests. You can do so by providing checklists that can be used to keep track of machine and utensil servicing. You can also let them know about pest infestation signs to look out for (dirt tracks, eggs, etc.), common materials that are used for nesting, and the presence of insects that may appear harmless. You basically just want to give your staff the tools and awareness to be on top of pest problems.

Keep everything as clean, dry and inaccessible as possible. If they don't have access into your facilities or water or food, pests will not be a problem. Make sure to properly clean food processing equipment, have secure garbage bags, and so forth. Be especially aware of the dumpster area as that is a big draw for rodents.

Conduct regular pest inspections. Make sure to perform monthly inspections of your facility and note the date and time of these inspections, such as temperature in the food processing area, building integrity issues, general sanitation practices, etc. If any problem areas do exists, record where and other important details. Also check and repair vents and screens so that air intake and circulation systems are working properly and are maintained. You can perform these frequent inspections as a part of your routine, or have a restaurant pest control company do them for you.

Choose your pest control provider wisely. See how long the company has been in business and ask about their public profile in order to determine the number of their commercial clients. Don't forget to ask what times of day you can access their services so that you can limit potential public exposure. Also research the methods or chemicals they use and see if there are any harmful effects these can have on your employees and customers.

If you do have a pest management issues, there are new products out there, such as undetectable liquids, waterproof dust formulations, etc. that are undetectable, easily dispersed, and can be applied to entryways, nooks, and crannies. Don't forget that pest prevention is always easier than getting rid of an infestation that has already occurred.


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