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Rats, mice, ants, cockroaches, birds…there are many different types of pests that can plague a professional kitchen. Pests can impact businesses of all types – but food and drink businesses are at the highest risk, and are, arguably, the businesses that can be worst affected by pest problems. Here are five ways in which pests can have a negative impact on professional kitchens.
1. You could fall foul of the law.
Failing to ensure that pest control is adequate in a professional kitchen could result in a hefty fine – or even imprisonment. It could also result in the closure of your business.
The Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations 1990, the Food Safety Act 1990 and The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 all set out regulations to which food and drink businesses must comply in order to be acting within the law.
Ultimately, the responsibility for pest control lies with the food or drink business itself – whether you handle it in-house or outsource it to an expert. As a business owner, though, you’ll have enough on your plate without the hassle of DIY pest control. So, whether you’re looking for pest control services in Worthing, Weston-super-Mare or Wakefield, hiring the professionals to pest-proof your kitchen is a good idea.
2. Your building and fixtures could become damaged.
Given how small most pests are, it’s amazing how much damage they can cause. Some can gnaw through electrical cables and pipes. Some can create holes in walls or damage wooden elements of your business property. They can destroy furniture, soft furnishings…even cause significant damage to the very structure of the building.
This damage isn’t just confined to the building itself, either: you may find that your fixtures and equipment can succumb to problems caused by various pests.
3. Your stock could become contaminated
Any food and drink in your commercial kitchen should, of course, be stored in a safe and healthy way. However, even sealed containers aren’t enough to keep out some pests.
Rats and mice, for example, can chew through everything from cardboard to plastic – and at the first sign of contamination, it’s vital that you dispose of the affected product. This, of course, means wasted money…and if the pests responsible aren’t eliminated properly, it’s a problem that’s likely to recur.
4. You risk staff members leaving
Would your business still be viable without your employees? Being forced to work in an environment where pests are a problem could leave you with staffing issues.
Their productivity and job satisfaction will likely decrease. They could become sick – many pests carry diseases – leaving you short-staffed and them unhappy. And, ultimately, if the problem continues, they’ll simply leave and find work elsewhere. Professional kitchen staff are in high demand…can you afford to be running a working environment where staff satisfaction is low, and where employees feel they aren’t cared for?
5. Your reputation could be destroyed.
Customers who are happy enough to return time and time again – and who proactively spread the word about your business – are key to success, especially with the cost of living currently so high. One surefire way to ensure that doesn’t happen is for your paying customers to spot pests on your premises.
The merest glimpse of a rat’s tail, mouse droppings on the floor or a trail of ants marching into the kitchen will ruin their dining experience and lead them to believe that your premises isn’t hygienic. But that’s not all. They’ll most likely tell their friends about the experience…and may well post damning Google or TripAdvisor reviews, as well as posting on their own social media. They might even have snapped photographic evidence of the pests on your property, and could well share these for all to see.
The damage that pests can cause to a food or drink business isn’t necessarily just physical. There are many ways in which the presence of pests can impact negatively on your business, and may even cause it to close down for good. For that reason, it’s vital that you have a detailed pest control plan in place, that this is followed, that all of your staff are aware of what to do and how to spot any issues, and that both pest proofing and treatment are conducted thoroughly and professionally.