Having an effective pest control program in place is important in any business, but it’s especially important for businesses that manufacture, pack, or sell food.
If you’ve got food on your premises, that automatically makes it more attractive to pests like mice, as a food source is usually what they are looking for, as well as shelter and water.
In this blog, we’re going to give you some tips on how you can prevent mice from getting into your takeaway restaurant and what you should do if they find their way in.
The problem with mice in food premises
Their urine and droppings contain some nasty pathogens that can make people ill and contaminate food and packaging. If the food you sell to the public gets contaminated, you’re in trouble. At best, it can mean a financial loss because of stock you have to throw away. At worst, you can be prosecuted and face a serious loss of reputation.
They can also chew through everything from wood to plastic, rubber, and even aluminum, so they can end up causing costly damage to your premises and product packaging.
How to prevent mice from getting into your takeaway
First, you need effective pest prevention and control methods in place
This is not optional, this is the law.
The Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene Regulations 2005 states that food is classed as unsafe if it is considered to be injurious to health or unfit for human consumption.
The law prescribes hygiene requirements for food businesses, including regulations stating that the layout, design, and construction of food premises should permit good food hygiene practices including protection against contamination and, in particular, adequate pest control.
Any measures that a food business puts in place should be based around the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). This means identifying the riskiest processes and taking measures to reduce risk.
Pest management is part of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for food businesses, which states that any pest prevention practices must be carried out with due diligence.
This is important.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you hire a pest control company to get rid of mice from your takeaway that you’ve done enough. Your pest prevention practices need to be good enough in the first place.
Second, you need to make your takeaway less attractive to pests like mice
As well as preventing mice from getting into your takeaway, you need to make the environment much less attractive to them if they get in. You should focus on:
Removing their food sources
Food is usually the main attraction for mice so you need to cut off their access to it which means:
- Keeping your premises clean and making sure all spillages are wiped up instantly
- Keeping food waste in locked bins which are emptied regularly
- Never leaving bin bags next to your bins as mice can easily chew through them
- Emptying internal bins as soon as possible- don’t let waste mount up
- Keeping bins away from doors and other points of access
- Storing ingredients in sealed containers
- Keeping food storage locations clean and secure
Removing their access to water
Fix leaks or dripping taps, as well as getting rid of standing water and covering any holes or cracks in drains.
Don’t give them anywhere to shelter
- Don’t let waste or cardboard boxes pile up
- Check doors, walls, windows, and vents for holes, gaps, and cracks where mice could get into your takeaway, and remember, they are capable of squeezing through the tiniest of gaps. Seal them up with things that they can’t chew through including steel wool, concrete, sheet metal, or brick.
Do I need professional pest control for my takeaway?
You can go down the DIY route and lay down some traps, but when it comes to using chemicals and baits, many are not permitted for food businesses as there’s a risk that food will become contaminated.
If you hire professional pest control, you can get your pest problem dealt with fast, as well as getting in-depth pest prevention and management plan for your business, and expert advice on preventing any problems in the future.
To protect your business, customers, and your reputation, professional pest control is your best bet.