Health and hygiene are perhaps the most important and feared words in the fast food business. Nothing will close a takeaway quicker than accusations of bad hygiene or lack of pest control. If the environmental health don’t close you down, the lack of custom surely will.

It is a constant battle in the catering business to keep on top of hygiene. Letting it slip can lead to disaster but often businesses suffer problems with hygiene through no fault of their own.

Customers who discard food near premises can often attract vermin and pests which then gets associated with the restaurant. This can often lead to problems with the authority and a bad reputation will start to drivie customers away. At the very least, discarded food litter will upset the local residents and neighbours causing trouble any business could do without.

And on other occasions, despite the best efforts of the proprietors, problems still occur, quite often unexpectedly.

However, often the culprit can be the humble rubbish bin used by restaurants, kitchens and fast food takeaways. Often the wrong bin is used and this can lead to the problems mentioned above, let me explain:

When discarding food from the kitchen its essential it goes in a bin with a good lid. Leaving food in rubbish bags out the back will just attract cats, foxes, rats and worse. Make sure all food waste is discarded in good quality exterior bins with strong lids to prevent vermin from opening them.

To prevent customers from discarding rubbish, make sure your premises has a good sized bin out the front. If there isn’t one from the council ask if you can provide one, explain how you wish to reduce litter and they will most probably agree. A good sized litter bin that is regularly emptied will discourage customers from throwing litter. At the very least it will demonstrate you have tried your best to ensure the environment is litter-free.

L:itter bins outside will help stop customers throwing litter down

L:itter bins outside will help stop customers throwing litter down

Good quality kitchen bins are also a must as even small scraps of food lying about will attract mice or cockroaches, both of which will force closure of a restaurant until they are controlled. For more advice on health and hygiene speak to your local council.

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