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Spotting cockroaches while eating at a restaurant is a diner’s worst nightmare. You can report the incident to your local public health department. The department will send an inspector to the restaurant as soon as the report is made, usually a day after receiving the complaint. The inspector will decide at his discretion whether the problem is serious enough to warrant closing the restaurant until the pest problem is resolved.
The restaurant may remain open on condition that it enlists the services of a professional exterminator in Toronto immediately. This usually happens if the inspector can’t see any signs of cockroaches in the establishment or deems the problem a minor infraction based on pre-determined inspection criteria.
When to Report Cockroaches in a Restaurant
There are opposing views on when or whether you should report a cockroach sighting to the authorities. On the one hand, seeing a cockroach in the restaurant dining area may indicate a large infestation in the kitchen. The colony might have gotten too big causing some of its members to forage elsewhere. On the other hand, it is common knowledge that cockroaches are a fairly common occurrence in the restaurant business. Many establishments including some up-scale restaurants are constantly struggling with pests.
It may also happen that the cockroach in the dining area might have come from outside and is just a one-off and unfortunate incident. In short, it is difficult to determine the scale of the problem without additional evidence. If you see many cockroaches in the dining area, you definitely need to call your local public health department to report the issue. Do not eat at the restaurant.
You may want to take up the issue with the establishment’s management to take care of the problem quietly before informing the authorities. It might be that the staff wasn’t even aware there were cockroaches on the premises or the restaurant is currently doing pest control which hasn’t yet been successful.
Call the Toronto public health department (416) 338-7600 if you feel that your concerns have not been taken seriously or addressed satisfactorily. You should definitely report to the authorities if you have seen roaches on multiple occasions.
Who Regulates Pest Control in Restaurants in Canada
Pest control in restaurants in Canada is regulated by the local public health department. It is also important to note that restaurants and food service inspections in Canada are normally carried out by the following organizations:
- Provincial governments
- Regional health authorities
These bodies have the mandate to verify the safe handling of food practices. Canadian can report concerns about restaurant food, including pest sightings to their local public health department.
How Can You Report a Cockroach Problem in Toronto?
In case you sight a cockroach problem or a sanitary issue that is attracting pests, you can file a complaint with the Municipal Licensing and Standards, who will help you investigate. According to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 629-Property Standards, all properties need to be kept free from pests including insects and rodents; they also need to be kept in a condition that will not encourage pest infestation (including cockroaches).
In case you would like to file a complaint about cockroaches, a service request by the Municipal Licensing & Standards can be submitted online here, you could also call 311
Why You Should Report Cockroaches in Restaurants
Dining in a restaurant is always an enjoyable time. However, your experience could quickly turn into a nightmare if mid-enjoying your food you see a cockroach scurry up the wall or under the table. When you notice this, it is important to immediately notify the management and also report the incident to your local public health department.
Not only can cockroaches carry harmful diseases, but it could also be a sign of an infestation. While you can only spot one cockroach, it normally means there are more living and hiding behind the walls often coming out at night to contaminate food that both your friends and family might be exposed to the next time they come to eat.
Restaurant Owners Should Call an Exterminator
If you are a restaurant owner or manager, there is no chance of resolving the roach problem on your own. Most over-the-counter pesticides simply aren’t effective for roaches. There is also a good chance that you can’t get to the eggs. You may kill a good number of roaches but the infestation is bound to come back if you haven’t exterminated the eggs.
Call a professional cockroach exterminator in Toronto to get rid of cockroaches in your restaurant once and for all. The experts will also advise how you can avoid the problem in future.
Article Updated: November 1st, 2018