Can Pest Issues Get Your Business Shut Down?
Very few restaurant owners realise the critical importance of dealing with pest issues. In their minds, this is a minor problem and getting customers through the door is more important. But what you have to realise is that food safety is critical in a hospitality premises. If food is contaminated and customers become ill or you fail a health and safety inspection, it can have serious consequences for your business.
Outbreaks can result in problems with the law, fines, and even the closure of business. What most restaurant owners don’t realise is that these fines can be incredibly steep.
In September 2019, a restaurant in Oxford was forced to close after mouse droppings and and flies were found in the kitchen. The restaurant was issued with a hygiene emergency prohibition notice after city council officers investigated the premises, following a customer complaint. This is just one of many such cases.
How to prevent pest issues from harming your business
The government takes an extremely dim view of business with pest issues because of food contamination. To safeguard the health of the public, they have passed dozens of laws relating to food safety. Health inspectors also routinely visit restaurants, cafes, and takeaways.
When this is done your business is inspected and given a rating out of five. The inspectors take a look at things like how the restaurant is managed and the condition of your building. They also inspect the level of hygiene and safety in your business. From there you are rated between one and five. Five means that everything is in order, whereas zero means you need to improve quickly.
However, a rating of zero doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It simply means that you need to get your house in order before the next inspection. The authorities may even help you figure out what the problem is, and help you get back to normal.
The keywords to guide you in the right direction
If you’re concerned about pest issues and hygiene in your business then here are a few things to remember. Hygiene and pest control food safety revolves around four things. These are cleaning, cooking, chilling, and cross contamination.
To start with your restaurant must be kept clean. You need to clean up all food waste and also disinfect surfaces as often as possible. Next, all food should be properly cooked. This is important in order to kill any bacteria that may be present in the food.
Thirdly, some food must be kept cold so that bacteria does not grow. This includes prepared food and food with a use by date. Finally, you must prevent cross contamination. Do not allow ready-to-eat food to make contact with other types of food. Also avoid using the same equipment to prepare different types of food. The government issue guidelines on how to maintain health and safety standards.
It’s very sad, but most business owners do not take pest issues seriously until it’s too late. They only start to care about pests when their business is shut down or fined. Do not make this mistake. Implement good hygiene and pest control practices and you will never have a problem.