Retail giants prosecuted - Record fines for mouse infestations

Published: 22 Feb 2017

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.

This sentiment has recently been echoed 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.

Environmental health officers visited the branch in February last year following a customer complaint.

The firm admitted to three offences under Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations in November, and was handed the fine on January 25 at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court .

Asda has also recently been fined £300,000 after dead mice and flies were discovered in the aisles of a home delivery depot that distributes food to online shoppers across London and Essex.

The supermarket chain pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 after inspectors found the dead vermin alongside mouse droppings and pupae shells at its distribution centre in Enfield, north London.

In 2016 The Good Fortune Restaurant in Portsmouth and Sanctum Soho hotel faced the repercussions of mouse infestations. The Portsmouth based restaurant was issued a £4K fine while the hotel faced closure.

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