If you are in the restaurant business, then you know how important it is to have a clean kitchen. All it takes is one mouse or one cockroach to make an appearance at the inopportune moment for you to go from the place to be to the place no one will eat at. But how can you prevent this from happening?
The key word in any restaurant is sanitation. A good sanitation program will keep an infestation from happening in the first place, as well as allow you to identify a problem and stop it before it grows out of control. Since a restaurant kitchen is already an ideal hotspot for pests of all types, having a systematic method of cleaning and sanitizing everywhere – even the places you don’t normally see, can make the difference between being pest free and having an infestation. Using antimicrobial shelving units from a high quality company like Schaefer Systems will help maintain your kitchen clean and your products sanitized when stored.
10 Steps For Preventing Pests
Prevention is the best, and easiest, pest problem solution. Prevent the pests from coming in, and you will never be left trying to rid yourself of an infestation before your next health inspection. Here are 10 steps for keeping the pests at bay:
- Stay Clean: The longer a mess hangs around, the harder it is to clean up and the more attractive it is to pests. Stay on top of cleaning even when busy, sweeping and mopping floors regularly. Clean drains, grease traps, and under and behind appliances on a regular basis.
- Check Your Storage: Rotate products frequently, clean up spills, and remove any damaged products. Watch for signs, like live pests, droppings and destroyed products.
- Take Out the Trash: Most restaurants produce enormous amounts of trash daily. Disposing of the trash properly will help to avoid attracting unwanted pests. Line trash cans and seal them when not in use. Take the trash out regularly to avoid the odors that attract mice and insects.
- Clean the Exterior: Your first line of defense against pests is having a clean exterior. Piles of trash, sticky sidewalks and overflowing dumpsters attract rodents and other pests. If there is a mess on the outside, it won’t take long for pests to start working their way inside.
- Annual Deep Clean: Besides having a regularly scheduled sanitation program, you should schedule a deep cleaning of your restaurant at least once a year. Use this time to power wash everything, and do hard jobs like removing tough grease stains to help prevent a problem.
- Seal Cracks and Holes: Go around the entire restaurant sealing cracks and holes, paying particular attention to doors, windows, and foundations. These are the areas that pests commonly use to enter the restaurant.
- Store Leftovers Promptly: If food is going to be prepped and used later, make sure that it is stored in a tightly sealed container to prevent pests from accessing it.
- Remove Food From Shipping Containers: Bulk items such as sugar, flour and mixes often come in paper bags or cardboard containers. Remove these items and put into rodent- proof containers to avoid having them chewed through.
- Use Proper Pesticides: Insecticides and rodent bait can be used to help prevent a problem; however you want to make sure that the chemicals that you are using are safe for food establishments.
- Inspect Incoming Food: Sometimes the food being delivered, such as fresh produce, will harbor pests. Inspect all incoming deliveries thoroughly and refuse those that have signs of pests.
A little prevention goes a long way!