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How restaurants can store food to prevent pests

There are many health and safety regulations that must be followed while maintaining a restaurant. Food contamination and pest control are two of the most important issues to consider, and these are often intertwined. The way in which food is stored can encourage or prevent pests in a restaurant.

Pests are attracted to kitchens and pantries as there is usually food lying around. If not stored properly, the food is at risk of being contaminated by fur, droppings and diseases. By ensuring that food storage and its packaging are well-managed, restaurant owners will minimise the pest infestations and the risk of making patrons sick. Here are a few ways in which restaurants can store food to prevent pests.

Make use of airtight containers

Restaurant owners should always keep dried foods in airtight containers, preferably glass, so that rodents and insects will not be able to chew through them. This will ensure that no food contamination will occur while in storage. Keep these containers off the floor to reduce the risk of pests getting into the food easily.

Store food in fridges

Avoid leaving unsealed food out, especially fruit, which attracts flies. To avoid leaks, always inspect the containers for cracks, damage and loose seals. Use the ‘First In, First Out’ rule to ensure that no food spoils in the fridge or attracts pests with rotting odours. Always check the temperature of refrigerators with an appliance thermometer to ensure that they are working properly. The refrigerator should be at four degrees Celsius or lower.

Educate restaurant staff

Educate employees on the necessity of proper food storage procedures, as well as how to spot symptoms of pest infestations. Establish protocols for promptly notifying management if pest activity or indications are detected. Create a rotational cleaning roster to ensure that all food storage areas are regularly cleaned and vacuumed to ensure that there are no food sources accessible to pests.

Hire professionals

Get in touch with a pest control service provider who can tailor their services to the requirements of restaurants. These companies will be aware of the safety regulations for pest control and food storage. They will also be able to give guidance on what else should be done to ensure there are no further infestations. Also, make use of a contract cleaning company to clean your kitchen and dining area.

Using the proper containers to store food and ensuring that fridges are regularly washed and temperature-controlled can help to keep pests at bay in a restaurant. By informing employees of the importance of correct procedures, you will establish a clean and hygienic atmosphere.


IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.

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