All business's could be at risk of pest infestations if proper measures are not taken to manage the situation. Even fine dining and high end hotels can find themselves falling victim to a rodent infestation. Recently, Hotel du Vin was fined £120,000 following a mice infestation in the kitchen of its Birmingham hotel.
The 66-bedroom hotel admitted two charges under the Food Safety and Hygiene Act during an appearance at Birmingham Magistrates Court. One charge involved a failure to ensure the kitchen was clean with respect to mice droppings and the other to a failure in keeping equipment clean.
Similar cases were also reported last year when a branch of Holland & Barrett, Knightsbridge was fined more than half-a-million pounds 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, business will continue to find themselves faced with hefty penalties when poor pest control is uncovered by visiting officials.
The following tips can aid in keeping you premises pest free:
- Regular routine cleanliness checks can be streamlined with the aid of a powerful torch to identify fresh sightings or pest entry points.
- Floors and work surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of service. This will reduce pest attraction.
- 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. (We have heard of cases where staff have mistaken droppings for spices!)
- If pest problems are identified in your premises, quickly contact an approved pest control contractor who will advise and assist you accordingly.
Whilst it is true that you are never very far away from a rodent, the implication of a rodent infestation in your premises could have catastrophic consequences for all concerned. The cost of a pest infestation can prove to be costly and can do irreparable damage to the reputation of a food establishment. Not to mention the impact that it can have on the health of its customers.
If you require any advice on how to implement a managed pest control system, please contact us