How NYC Street Food Vendors Can Prevent Rodent Problems

How NYC Street Food Vendors Can Prevent Rodent Problems
Food cart in NYC. Photo by Ryan Loughlin on
City inspectors from the NYC Department of Health and Mental hygiene report that rodent activities in the city doubled from 30,000 in 2021 to 60,000 in 2022, according to NBC New York. Rodents are the leading cause of food business failure in the city. Like other pests, rats carry and spread dangerous disease-causing bacteria. When they bite food, for example, rats spread bacteria through saliva.
If you’re a street food vendor, controlling pest infestation is key to achieving street food safety compliance. But how can NYC street food vendors control rodents to prevent food safety hazards? Below are a few tips for preventing rats in your food business and eliminating the risk of food poisoning.

Seal Cracks And Holes In Food Carts

Food trucks are ideal for providing a unique mobile restaurant experience, but they are prone to pest infestation. Naturally, rats and mice can squeeze through tiny holes and climb hard–to–reach places.
Therefore, regular inspection of food carts is essential. When inspecting your food cart, look out for cracks and holes in the doors, ceiling, and sides, then seal them by caulking. Replace worn-out gaskets on the doors and windows of your food truck to seal entry points that rats might use to get in. Keeping rats out of your food cart helps reduce contamination, thus improving food safety for your customers.

Prioritize Sanitation

Implementing proper food safety guidelines is essential for getting rid of pests and preventing food contamination. So, make it a habit to clean kitchen utensils after every use. Wash hands before handling food, wash vegetables and fruits, and clean storage spaces. Also, keep a thermometer inside the cart to ensure that you serve food within a temperature range that doesn’t support the spread of germs.
While you can deep clean a food truck yourself, it’s wise to outsource the job to experts who specialize in restaurant and catering cleaning. Professional restaurant cleaners offer kitchen sanitization, floor cleaning and maintenance, and window cleaning.
Maintaining high levels of cleanliness in and around your food cart gives potential customers the impression that the food and drinks you serve are safe. As a result, you’ll enjoy high traffic at your food vending spot.

Inspect Equipment and Furniture Regularly

Unmaintained kitchen appliances and furniture are ideal spots for rats to create nests. With that in mind, clean cabinets, chairs, and tables regularly. This helps remove food particles that stick in hard-to-reach places, hence attracting pests, including insects. Keeping up with kitchen appliance maintenance also helps get rid of contaminants that can cause food poisoning.
Owning a food truck is an excellent way to create a unique dining experience for customers. However, maintaining high standards of food safety can be challenging. Mobile restaurants are prone to pest infestations just like on-site restaurants. Fortunately, street food vendors can enhance food safety by keeping their food carts clean. Also, seal cracks and holes in your cart and keep up with kitchen appliances and furniture maintenance.