How to Achieve An “A” Grade In NYC Restaurants
Our blog series focusing on site-specific applications for Integrated Pest Management for businesses has covered a range of topics from bed bug control for hotels, to rodent control, and most recently pest management strategies for food processing facilities. As we continue we will keep in line with the food safety theme in this installment covering pest control and New York commercial fly control, and specifically how to achieve an A grade from the NYC Department of Health using IPM principles.
“A” Is The ONLY Passing Grade In Restaurants
It’s been in the news lately, with high profile restaurants getting slammed with less than desirable Department of Health ratings in regards to cleanliness and food safety. No one wants to eat at a restaurant with a “B”, much less a “C” and there is no worse stigma for a restaurant than poor sanitation grade glaring in the front window. For any restaurant, high profile or not, the costs can be devastating in terms of reputation and public perception, and those losses may never be recouped. Obviously it is in the interest of every restaurant operator to maintain the highest standards when it comes to insect control, rodent control and fly prevention, as they are part of the main criteria for maintaining the “A” grade.
What Determines The Grade?
Every restaurant in New York City is subject to an unannounced inspection once a year. During these inspections, restaurants are audited based on a scale of “critical” and “general” violations. A restaurant receiving more than 13 points on the scale will lose its “A” rating until it can prove it has made the proper corrections. Some of the most damaging critical violations are those involving the presence of pests because they denote an overall weakness in a restaurant’s ability to maintain basic sanitation, and are based on the visible numbers of pests, or evidence of pests. Among these critical violations are the evidence of rodents or live rodents present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas, live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas, and filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Non-critical violations in regards to pest management include the facility not being vermin-proof or having harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Basically every instance of violation inspectors find will denote a point or more depending on the severity of the problem, for example, the number of flies, rodent droppings, etc. The greater the number of flies for example, the more points lost. Needless to say, the presence of any pest in the restaurant can threaten the “A” grade.
Passing the Grade
According to NYC Health’s Guide for Food Service Operators, one of the main steps restaurants need to take in receiving an “A” includes contracting a licensed pest control professional. With this in mind, how does JP McHale work with its restaurant clients to maintain their “A”? JP Mchale’s Integrated Pest Management strategies provide our clients with an edge since the multi-level approach we use covers everything from training restaurant staff, identifying and eliminating harborage and entry points, to ongoing monitoring programs. Along with this, we recommend installing products like Xcluder door sweeps to ensure roaches and rodents are unable to enter under doors for example. In NYC commercial fly control for restaurants is a major concern, especially in spring and summer when fly populations can increase to critical violation levels overnight. JP McHale takes preventative measures like installing BASF Vector fly lights in our client’s properties to ensure fly populations are kept at a minimum. Caulking and sealing entry points, cracks, and harborage areas are also key to ensuring our client’s restaurants remain as pest-free as possible. In addition to the physical prevention, we use staff training to help workers identify and resolve problems such as uncovered garbage, or food, and to identify and monitor the presence of pests. Following JP McHale’s comprehensive restaurant pest control programs will give our clients the best chance at getting the “A” Grade because we understand the criteria and how to execute a plan that will ensure that you are in compliance.
JP McHale specializes in providing superior pest management services to commercial facilities in the New York City metropolitan area. We are a family-owned and operated company that was founded with the mindset of providing a superior pest management service to our commercial customers by providing unparalleled attention to detail, pro-active communication, overall professionalism, and customer support.