An article in the Toronto Star dated January 31 reports about the closure of two Kensington Market shops—a bakery and a fish market—after critical rodent infestations were identified in them. The closure was ordered by Toronto Public Health in an attempt to safeguard consumers from the possibility of purchasing contaminated food. Only after the stores had cleaned up and employed countermeasures against mice and rats would they be allowed to open shop again.
Rodents are a serious problem, not only due to the damage they inflict on property, but because they can befoul foodstuffs with their feces and urine. Consumption of rodent-polluted food has been associated with contraction of lymphocytic choriomeningitis, which can cause fevers, muscles aches, fatigue, and nausea. Quickly getting rid of mice and rats upon detecting them is the only way to make sure that a building is safe from the threat of various dangerour rodent-transmitted diseases.
The infestation of the shops was brought to the attention of Toronto Public Health after an Internet user posted pictures of rats on a shelf feeding on store merchandise. Upon subsequent inspection, the health department found out that, indeed, the shops had serious rodent infestations. The inspector immediately issued a closure order for both the bakery and the fish market.
The fish market, in particular, was originally given a conditional pass when health inspectors discovered last year that the location was primed for a rat infestation. Unfortunately, the establishment’s proprietors refused to heed the warning, and failed to deal with the then-impending rat problem. The manager of the Toronto Public Health’s food safety program, Jim Chan, stated “due diligence is important and if [you] see early signs of infestation, [you] should contact pest control right away.”
Chan further underlines the need to secure the structure of a building. Aside from immediately getting rid of mice in walls, building owners should also rodent-proof any possible holes that the critters might slip through. An experienced animal handling company, like Skedaddle Wildlife Control, should be able to get rid of the rodents while helping secure any compromised spots throughout the building.
Rodents are a threat to restaurants and food retailers due to the health hazards they pose. Should an establishment be found infested with the vermin, it will be closed down until the deficiencies are rectified. This is certainly bad for one’s business and even worse for its reputation. Before things get out of hand, proprietors should take initiative and deal with any detected vermin problems as soon as they are discovered.