If you follow the local news, inevitably you have seen a headline like the following, which can be the ultimate failure for any respectable restaurant:
LOCAL RESTAURANT CLOSED DUE TO FAILED HEALTH INSPECTION
While the fine print usually reveals that the restaurant will reopen after improvements are made, the damage is done. If the inspection doesn't result in a shutdown, a bad score is more visible than ever. County health departments often post inspection scores online, so your latest inspection score (and the specific reasons for any deductions) are now just a Google search away from potential customers.
Given the high stakes, it's imperative that restaurateurs prepare for unannounced health inspections since they can happen at any time.
How Pests Factor into the Health Inspection Headline
The main purpose of a health inspection is food safety. Since rodents, flies, cockroaches and other pests can contaminate food and food preparation surfaces, any evidence of vermin or insects inside a restaurant – or conditions that might lead to infestation – can cause point deductions. If an active infestation is discovered, the health inspector can shut down the establishment immediately and keep it closed until the problem is resolved.
pest risk spots
Humans are not the only ones who miss dining out.
As restaurants and other businesses have closed during the coronavirus pandemic, rats may become more aggressive as they hunt for new sources of food, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.
Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to “unusual or aggressive” rodent behavior, the agency said on its website on Thursday.
“The rats are not becoming aggressive toward people, but toward each other,” Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist who has both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in rodent pest management, said on Sunday. “They’re simply turning on each other.”
Dr. Corrigan said there are certain colonies of rats that have depended on restaurants’ nightly trash for hundreds of generations, coming out of the sewers and alleys to ravage the bags left on the streets. With the shutdown, all of that went away, leaving rats hungry and desperate.