Dead pigeon, vermin and cockroaches…..The impact of pest activity on your business

Published: 8 May 2017

In recent months pest control related offences have resulted in record fines being issued with irreparable damage to reputation and hygiene ratings taking a tumble. Whilst it is true that you are never very far away from a rodent, the implication of a rodent infestation and un-managed pest issues in your premises could have catastrophic consequences for all concerned.

The cost of a pest infestation can prove to be costly and can do huge damage to the reputation of a food establishment. Not to mention the impact that it can have on the health of its customers.

A restaurant owner has recently been fined £25,000 after health inspectors found a decomposing pigeon in the kitchen and an infestation of cockroaches.

Officers visited the premises in Swansea on 5 September 2016 after a customer called to say they had seen a cockroach on the dessert counter a day earlier. Fea Moss Limited pleaded guilty at Swansea Magistrates' Court to six food hygiene offences in a prosecution brought by Swansea Council.

The court heard Yanrui Yi, director of Fea Moss, had taken over the former Cosmo premises in Castle Street the month before, refurbished the restaurant and re-opened it as Nines Global Buffet.

But it was given a zero food hygiene rating following a routine inspection on 18 November, which it still holds.

A month later, two improvement notices were served on the business in relation to the lack of food hygiene training and the lack of a food safety management system following a re-visit.

Earlier this year we heard how Holland & Barrett, Knightsbridge was on the receiving end of a half-a-million pound fine after inspectors discovered it was infested with mice and covered in droppings and urine. Photographic evidence taken by Westminster City Council hygiene inspectors show gnawed-through items on sale and faeces on shelves. The business was closed for fears of imminent danger to the public, it was then reopened  2 weeks later after a clean bill of health was issued.

Unless a proactive and managed approach to pest control is adopted, we will continue to hear of cases like these which will result in hefty penalties.

Here are some pointers which can aid in keeping you premises pest free:

  1. Regular routine cleanliness checks can be streamlined with the aid of a torch to identify fresh sightings or pest entry points.
  2. Floors and work surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of service. This will reduce pest attraction.
  3. As part of training, all kitchen staff must be trained in what mouse droppings look like and what action needs to be taken when evidence of mice/pests are seen.
  4. Lastly, if pest problems are identified in your premises, quickly contact an approved pest control contractor who will advise you accordingly.

If you require any advice on how to implement a managed pest control system, please contact us