Getting a Handle on Pest Control in Restuarants in NYC

Issues with Pest Control is one of the leading causes of restaurant failures in New York City. Getting a handle on your pest control as soon as possible is one of the best things you can do to pass and maintain an "A" on a NYC food sanitation inspection by the Board of Health and Mental hygiene.

Unfortunately, it can also be the most challenging. If you have basement operations it will be even more difficult. While flies are most active between November and March, and especially over 50 degrees, rodents and cockroaches are active at all times of the year.

New York City Article 81, the City Food Code, gives a brief outline of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of integrated pest management are 1) starve them, 2) shut them out 3) use pest control devices as necessary. To go further, look at Article 151, the supplemental literature.

It briefly states:

  1. Remove trash where pests may hide or nest, such as weeds from your back yard (if that applies),
  2. Seal gaps in both the interior and exterior (such as in a basement) and
  3. Remove food or water, such as water pooling up in chipped tiles or small plumbing leaks in the sink, seal food containers and ensure trash is taken away promptly in leak-proof bags.

The reason why pest proofing your facility is so important is because it becomes a two-tier violation. Your first violation will result in a minimum of 5 points regardless of what kind of pest it is.

Next, "conditions conducive to pests" carries the weight of 4 points, which will always be added to the final score. Nine points in deductions is a substantial loss and jeopardizes your chance of a passing grade on the first try, or worse yet, receiving any grade less than an A. Read article 81 here.