Rodent prosecution: Take away in Reading prosecuted for rodent infestation

Published: 19 Sep 2019

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.

Pest control related offences in recent times 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.

It had been reported in the press that Reading Council has successfully prosecuted a Reading takeaway following serious food safety offences, including evidence of fresh rat droppings on food preparation work surfaces.

Hot Stuff (Reading) Ltd, based along the Oxford Road in west Reading was investigated by Council officers following customer complaints. The business was closed down on 2nd October 2017 due to a heavy rat infestation that affected all parts of the business.

Council officers found the business to have insufficient staff training in place, required deep cleaning and there was no food safety management system in place. The premises scored a 0 in the food hygiene rating scheme. Following the closure there was little improvement and the business failed to comply with Hygiene Improvement Notices.

Hot Stuff (Reading) Ltd faced prosecution for 15 offences, with the three most serious offences attracting fines totalling £10K:

In 2017 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, cases like these will continue.

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