When you’re out to dinner with your family and friends, the last thing you want to see a little rodent scurrying by your table. What’s scarier to think about is what kind of rodent-running-around is going on behind the scenes. A restaurant kitchen is a godsend for rodents because it offers food, water and shelter for these pesky critters. Unfortunately, the presence of rodents can threaten food safety because they carry multiple diseases and are just downright dirty. The worst-case scenario would be a restaurant shutdown because of rodent sightings and unsanitary conditions.
Recognize the signs
Being able to identify signs of a rodent infestation is critical to controlling it. Rodents are rapidly-breeding creatures, which means if you see one, there will be many others lurking nearby.
Rat droppings are one of the most common signs of an infestation. They’re most often found in food storage sites. Some of the most attractive areas for rodents include dry storage, walk-in fridges, dumpsters, delivery areas, and supply closets.
Look for gnaw marks. The bothersome biters can chew through almost any type of material – including wires – in order to get food and water. This causes restaurant owners a hefty chunk of change in repair costs.
Listen for noises and look for damaged food packaging for other tell-tale signs of an infestation.
Courses of action
It’s necessary to take aggressive action with maintenance and sanitation if your restaurant suffers from rats taking shelter in your kitchen. Restaurant owners need to ensure their staff is properly sanitizing every inch of the restaurant – both interior and exterior. Food debris on tables and floor that isn’t properly cleaned is very appealing to rodents. Routine floor sweeps and providing tightly-sealed trash cans is an important prevention measure.
Furthermore, one of the best courses of action you can take is to train your employees how to recognize signs of rodents, as well as how to properly maintain the restaurant. Examples such as closing doors and other entry points, sealing cracks, and keeping waste areas clean should be part of the entire staff’s duties.
Owners and managers who implement a pest management approach are on the right track to ridding their restaurants of rodents. For more information on restaurant and food safety, contact Dr. Ken Kuscher – one of Florida’s highest regarded Certified ServSafe instructors. Call him today at (561) 369-2622.