What Pests can appear in Restaurants?
There are a number of pests that can be found in restaurants espcially in major cities like Lonodn where vermin is thriving. Where ever there are humans in large condensed numbers there will be food, and wherever there is food, there will be pests. The common pests found in these properties are either rodents or insects.
Mice, being so small can breach most properties by squeezing through gaps under doors or along cable and water pipe runs in the cavity of the building. Rats may also be present but there would have to be an obvious significant gap for this pest to be entering. Cockroaches is another common pest, especially oriental cockroaches that prefer damp, dank, dark areas such as basement cellars of which London has many. Stored food insects such as Indian Meal moth and biscuit beetles can occur but this is only when a dried food has been left standing open for a number of weeks or months. We would hope that in these busy restaurants, foods are rotated through regular which prevents stored food insects gaining a hold in the properties food. Some birds such as pigeons can also cause harm if nesting near ventilation ducting so regular roof and external inspections are necessary.
What are the dangers of pest in restaurants?
When pests get access to food stores, it is easy to understand how they can quickly cause huge problems for businesses in the food retail and catering industries. They can burrow into food packaging and contaminate it, rendering the contents inedible and causing setbacks for your business. Pests can spread diseases through their fur, feet, droppings, urine and saliva, as well as harmful bacteria like salmonella and E.coli if they are carrying it. This can inevitably cause illness and food poisoning in those who consume affected food. When faced with a pest infestation, the health of your customers and employees is at risk, as well as your reputation. Owners can be given prohibition notices to shut immediately and be heavily fined so having control measures in place in crucial.
How do they contaminate food?
Stored-product insects such as mites, moths, beetles, weevils and so on are known for making their way into stored produce. These insects can create holes so small that we’re unable to see them, and although they are small in size they are able to contaminate large quantities of stored produce. This can lead to infected food which can negatively impact your consumers’ health. Signs of their existence include webbing around food spillages, beams and window sills. Contact your pest control professional to remove these insects and fumigate your property.
Ants are in fact more of an annoyance than they are an issue with food safety. They have the ability to infest food areas, cupboards, shelves and make their way into packaging which can ruin your stock. They can nest in cracks within bricks in the walls of a building, under sheets of paper and so on. This makes them difficult to get rid of, but a professional pest controller will find the source of the problem and use substances stronger than everyday insecticides to provide long-term success.
Cockroaches aren’t picky when it comes to food and they generally appear during the night which can be tricky for businesses to spot. They could be spreading diseases without anyone knowing. However, there are signs such as droppings, skin casts and egg cases that you should stay vigilant for when making regular inspections of equipment, incoming goods, storage, displays and the building itself. You should also manage waste appropriately and keep drains clean. If you do happen to find a large infestation, it’s always important to have it tended to by a professional so that chemical-free methods can be used to ensure safety within a food environment.
Flies will feast on available fresh foods and breed in the heat. Although they have a short life, they can multiply quickly and this can result in swarms of flies outside and inside your building. Whether it’s food or retail, flies linger around bins and drains so ensure that they’re clean at all times. You might want to do some thorough weeding too as they also eat plants. Flies contaminate everything they touch which is why it’s important to control them and remove them as soon as possible, to avoid any health hazards.
Rats and mice can cause more than just health hazards, they can make their way into the building’s fixtures and damage the inside of the building, posing a threat to all. They are happy to feast on all things edible and reside within anything. Signs of rodents can include droppings, squeaks, gnawing sounds or tracks of oily fur.
As a Restaurant Owner what do I need to do?
For restaurant and food retail businesses, pest control legal requirements can be confusing. The general consensus is that the responsibility lies with the businesses to ensure that their premises’ layout, design, construction and size is conducive to effective hygiene practices.
Businesses must put in place adequate procedures for pest control, and the onus is on the proprietor to make sure this happens. Commercially available products should be used only by professionals, however. A contract with a pest control company is recommended, as baits and poisons can contaminate food, so leave it to the experts.
Further help and advice
Most pests like warmer temperatures, and habitats where water is available. But the main thing they look for, of course, is food! If you require any further help and advice with a current infestation then don’t hesitate to get in touch.