Health inspectors and pests have one thing in common – they can both arrive at a restaurant unannounced. Since the main purpose of a health inspection is food safety, implementing the following procedures to your regular maintenance and sanitation routine at four common pest “hot spots” can help ensure you make the grade.
Start by pest-proofing your restaurant from the outside in:
- Install plastic strip curtains on doors near loading dock areas.
- Remove shipments from their original cardboard boxes, as pests can use these boxes for harborage.
- Monitor boxes for signs of pests such as gnaw marks, droppings, or live and/or dead pests.
Use the following tips to make sure storage spaces remain a place for supplies, not a home to pests:
- Place food supplies on open-backed shelving to remove pest hiding spots.
- Rotate goods on a first in, first out (FIFO) basis so older products are always at the front of the storage area.
Turn up the heat on pests, so they don’t try to kick it in your kitchen:
- Inspect regularly for leaking faucets, dishwashers or ice machines, as pests only need a small amount of water to survive.
- Get rid of your garbage and make sure your receptacles are covered and properly lined.
- Clean the kitchen thoroughly between shifts and at the end of each day.
Ongoing sanitation is the best way to keep dining areas full of guests, not pests:
- Thoroughly clean all dining areas at the end of the day. Wipe down tables and chairs between customers, and then sweep and mop under them.
- Pay attention to the patio. Sweep up or hose down outdoor areas to remove any crumbs or spills that might attract pests.
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