Food businesses such as restaurants, have a legal duty to keep their premises free from pests and take proactive steps to prevent pest problems.
Rodents, insects and birds are commonly considered food pests and can cause serious problems for restaurants and other commercial kitchens, principally because they carry bacteria and can contaminate food, causing a risk to public health.
The general provision under current Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations is that food premises must be kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition and be designed to prevent pest access and infestation by pests. If pests or signs of pests are discovered in your restaurant, you could face significant financial penalties and potentially business closure.
Common Restaurant Pests
Rodents – Rats and mice carry bacteria and will readily feed on food intended for human consumption. The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in Britain and breeds rapidly. Providing a food source is available, the female mouse will produce litters of up to sixteen young every three weeks.
Incoming goods should be constantly inspected, as mice can often be found to have made nests in the packaging. Rodents can squeeze into gaps as small as 1cm so any gaps in the outer walls of the property can allow access. It is essential that all restaurants have high standards of maintenance to prevent the entry of rodents.
Cockroaches – Cockroaches also carry a variety of bacteria, and easily contaminate food with their faeces. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects, preferring dark and warm crevices The are attracted to any organic material and carry not only bacteria, but also viruses, which can be transmitted to humans.
Cockroaches can squeeze through the smallest of gaps, making it difficult to protect against these pests. They are also very resilient to DIY treatments – professional treatment is almost always required.
Flies – Flies are arguably one of the worst food pests and most prevalent. They carry bacteria and contaminate food by landing on food and food surfaces and transferring bacteria from their legs and body.
Flies live, eat and breed on faeces. Drains and refuse areas need to be regularly cleaned. Insect screens over windows and doors can be highly effective as can ultraviolet electrocution units. Care must be taken to ensure that fly eggs and dead bodies do not fall onto any food.
Wasps – Wasps are a nuisance pest which can worry customers and employees, as well as carry bacteria. If a wasp nest is located near your restaurant, a professional pest controller should be called to eradicate the wasps and remove it.
Birds – Many species of birds are scavengers, with gulls and pigeons in particular attracted to anywhere containing a regular food source. There are up to 13 different kinds of harmful bacteria in bird droppings, and these can cause a variety of health risks including Salmonella. Food businesses should ensure that they take extensive precautions to prevent entry by birds, as it is expensive and difficult to remove them once they are inside the building.
All UK birds are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and there are laws and legislation surrounding bird control, therefore all bird pest control measures should be carried out by a professional pest control company operating under licenced conditions.
Restaurant Pest Control Services
Monitor Pest Control are members of the British Pest Control Association and offer a comprehensive pest prevention and pest control service for restaurants. With an unrivalled knowledge of pest control applications and long-term prevention, our pest control service for restaurants will not only remove existing pest problems but prevent further issues from occurring.
We understand the specific needs of different food industry sectors, including pests particular to certain food products, and have a professional approach to working in a food environment. We also have extensive experience of assisting our clients with BRC Accreditation and customer auditing standards, and are willing to go the extra mile to help our clients pass all audits.
To find out more about our restaurant pest control services, including rodent, insect and bird control for restaurants, please contact Monitor Pest Control on: 01474 358855. Our technicians operate throughout London, Kent and the South East and can put a pest management and prevention plan in place to protect your restaurant from pests.