on Trash: How to Prevent Dumpster Problems
spring and fall, your food establishment may become the new
hangout of a type of customer that you pray you don't ever see
-- rats, rodents, insects and other pests. Fall and Spring season
are the worst times for mice and rats to congregate around full
and overflowing dumpsters, partially because the weather is
cooler but mostly because the trash area is beckoning them to
come over and look for a quick snack.
make sure that you don't fall victim to nibbling little creatures,
here are some ways to prevent rodent infestation and a visit
from your health department sanitarian:
- Store all
garbage and refuse in durable, washable, insect and rodent-proof
- Dispose garbage
and refuse often enough to prevent odors from seeping and
in turn, attracting rodents and insects to your trash area.
- Keep areas
around the dumpster facility clean and orderly. Make sure
that the outside storage areas are large enough to store garbage
that accumulates. This area should be kept clean and orderly
so it does not create a nuisance for your customers.
- Make sure
that your dumpster rests on a washable surface and not on
grass or land.
- Do not store
unprotected plastic bags, wet-strength paper bags or baled
garbage outside. These items can easily be gnawed by rodents.
- Make sure
that your dumpster is emptied regularly to prevent odors or
garbage from seeping around your establishment.
- When storing
garbage and refuse, the outside containers should have tight-fitting
lids or covers, and should be covered when not in use. If
the container is designed with a drain, the drain plug must
be kept in place.
taking the necessary steps to minimize and eliminate the presence
of pests during the spring, fall months, you can ensure safe
and pleasant dining from customers that you wouldn't mind seeing
any time of the year.
this and any other food safety related information, please contact
the Houston Department of Health and Human Services at 713/794-9200.
the HDHHS Bureau of Consumer Health Services