Pest Control Precautions for the Food Industry During COVID-19

Pest Control for Restaurants During COVID-19

Over the past 12 months, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many of New York City’s restaurants and bars to make critical operational changes for the safety of their customers and staff.

In trying to keep up with all of the challenges posed by this pandemic, many food establishments have overlooked, or underestimated, the need for pest control during these times. Meanwhile, with comparatively fewer customers and staff, pests have been allowed to roam and reproduce with few restrictions in search of food and harborage, creating a ticking time bomb for already suffering restaurants.

According to a recent report from Datassential, 76% of customers voiced that food safety and restaurant cleanliness will be of utmost importance post-COVID-19.

Right now, it’s more important than ever to resume professional pest control services in order to protect your customers, employees, and business from pest-related health risks.

Pests carry a variety of harmful diseases and can be a threat to the health of staff and consumers. Insects and rodents are also capable of contaminating food and causing structural damages. To avoid an infestation from taking hold while the pandemic impacts operations, food facility managers must make proactive pest control a priority.

Food Industry Pest Control Precautions

Good hygiene, stock management, and proper pest control are important in the food industry in order to prevent pests. Here are some precautions that restaurants and facility managers should be taking right now to stop pest infestations.

  • Regular Pest Inspections: It’s important to be careful when preventing and addressing pest issues. Always be alert for signs of infestations, especially in the kitchens and bathrooms. They might be in the form of droppings, eggs, or damages to walls, furniture, and food containers.
  • Remove Potential Sources of Food: Pests like rodents and cockroaches are drawn towards food prep and storage areas where food is more readily available to them. It’s critical to store everything in sealed, airtight containers, and dispose of any food waste on a regular basis. Likewise, make sure to manage trash receptacles and routinely eliminate trash from the restaurant and facility premises.
  • Eliminate Pest Access Points: The best way to prevent an infestation is to stop pests from entering the premises in the first place. It’s always highly recommended to have pest proofing or pest exclusion done. For example, seal any gaps or openings around walls, baseboards, and appliances, and install door sweeps on vents, windows, and doors. 
  • Working with a Pest Control Company: A professional pest control company can help you successfully implement an Integrated Pest Management plan. IPM is a customized and comprehensive approach to pest control that aims for effective, long-term protection against pests. The process usually comprises pest inspection, identification, treatment, and prevention. This is the best way to keep your facilities compliant, safe, clean, and profitable.
  • Product Inspection & Rotation: It’s essential to keep a check on food for any damage, spoilage, pest tampering, or expiration. If any food is subjected to this, restaurant managers must ensure that it is appropriately discarded. All food should be organized, labeled, and stored properly to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Food Temperature Control: Ensure that all freezers, coolers, cold and hot holding units are not contaminated and are cleaned, sanitized, and functioning well. Regular temperature checks with calibrated thermometers are essential to keep food safe from pests.
  • Warewashing Equipment: Make sure your compartment sink is always clean and equipped with enough detergent and sanitizer. Always keep sanitizer test strips handy to do occasional check-ups for the sanitizer being used.

Rounding up, NYC restaurant operators and food establishments need to be mindful of pest control, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investing in proper pest precautions now will save a lot of money in the long run by stopping costly and harmful infestations before they happen.

Author Bio: Raymond Web has taken the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies, helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe, and pest-free. Being the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite and Pest Control, a top-rated pest control service in Tracy, CA, he has an in-depth understanding of people and their pain points due to pests, which he uses in his content to educate.