Pests in your restaurant or fast food business can be harmful for your customers and your staff as well as significantly damaging your business reputation. Worse still, they can often expose you to costly legal or regulatory actions and claims under your Restaurant or Takeaway Insurance policy - or even lead to your business closure!
Managing Pest Control Is Key
They say prevention is better than a cure and this is absolutely true in the case of pest control. By working closely with a pest management expert you can implement a regular programme to take preventive measures against common pests like rodents, flies and cockroaches.
Regular and frequent pest management is also likely to be cheaper than needing to deal with an infestation, which could lead to temporary or permanent closure of your business.
Focus on Key Hot Spots
While working with a pest control firm or advisor, inspect your takeaway or restaurant for the places where rodents or pests are likely to reside or gain access. When you have found any potential or actual points of infestation, you will be better able to formulate an effective extermination or prevention plan.
#1 Goods In / Receiving areas
Cockroaches and other pests often enter restaurants by travelling in packaging or shipping containers. Take steps to find them before they enter the kitchen or store area.
- Consult with vendors to ensure that they have precautions for pest management in place.
- Inspect shipments for signs of pests such as gnaw marks, droppings or insects.
- Never move shipments to storage before inspection of both packaging and contents.
- Use black lights to spot urine and grease marks left by passing rodents.
- Use torches to inspect crates, boxes and pallets.
#2 Storage Areas
Storage areas can often become pest-ridden because they are damp, dark or low-traffic areas.
- Monitor these areas closely for the presence of pests.
- Eliminate odours, food debris and spillage immediately.
- Remove products from cardboard packaging as soon as possible—cockroaches eat the glue found in them.
- Use tightly sealed plastic containers to store products.
- Use open-backed stainless steel shelving, at least 15 cm off the floor and 45 cm from the wall.
- Rotate stock on a first in, first out basis to ensure that no products are left for extended periods.
#3 Keep The Kitchen Clean
Pests in the kitchen or counter area are best prevented through thorough good sanitation.
- Remove excess moisture by promptly repairing leaks in pipes, sinks or dishwashers.
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent food from spreading under equipment to hard-to-reach areas.
- Never leave dishes in the sink overnight.
- Remove rubbish at least daily.
- Line all rubbish containers with plastic liner bags.
- Use a safe cleaner around kitchen and floor drains – grease and grime often collect in these areas.
Keep Documentation For Good Governance
Record all steps you take to rid your facility of pests. Retain necessary forms, including service records, corrective action reports, pest activity reports, lists of pesticides used, and a copy of the pest control operator’s licence or certificate.
Should you be unfortunate enough to still suffer a rodent or pest infestation, a history of good housekeeping and prevention will put you in a much stronger position when dealing with regulators and the local authority.
Pest Control & Business Insurance Cover
Like all Insurance policies, the devil is in the detail, as such, restaurant or takeaway owners need to understand how their specific policy will respond in the event of a potential loss resulting from pest or vermin infestation.
Generally, Takeaway or Restaurant Insurance policies will exclude damage to stock or business contents caused by pest or vermin.
A key area of risk protection where Insurers can provide cover is Business Interruption, this will provide cover for loss of income or profits should your business suffer a closure or trade interruption as a direct result of pest infestation.
FREE Business Insurance Review
Insync specialises in all areas of cover for the hospitality and fast food industries. We can Compare Takeaway Insurance from the UK’s leading insurers in minutes. You can request a quotation online, alternatively, why not book a free review with one of our expert Gurus who can ensure you find the right level of cover at the right price.