Commercial Pest Control
Infestations, where the pests are mice or rats, cause more closures of food businesses than any other factor, the presence of rodents in a premise that is involved in the supply of food is a major negative with serious potential for the spread of disease.
A business involved in the supply of food that is forced to close by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) is done so because there is an imminent risk to human health, usually from uncontrolled exposure of foodstuffs to rats or mice.
Closure action by an EHO prevents a business from continuing to trade immediately and this is validated through the Magistrates Court; the business will stay closed until the situation is rectified and the EHO will look to a pest control company to investigate and determine that control has been achieved.
A business that is closed by an EHO may also face additional action from the Courts, fines issued by Judges are increasing as they take a greater look at the potential risk along with the actual risk to health from rat and mouse contamination.
Does poor hygiene effect a rodent infestation?
Risk is a big factor to the food supply chain sector, from harvest through production to retail, rats and mice contaminate our food supply through saliva, urine, faeces, blood, birth products, mucus membranes and lastly through bites from rodents. Rodents also pass other forms of contamination into the food chain through the process of movement: rats brushing past food packaging contaminating the wrapping.
Another potential high risk to human health is the presence of diseased rodents around the food products; pathogens that exist in the rodent may continue to survive outside of the host animal and the surrounding environment is critical – a warm, moist environment with greasy surfaces is better for bacteria than a clean dry one.
Keeping surfaces clean is essential to reducing risk, along with correct waste management; overflowing bins and rubbish left on the floor attracts rats which gives them a ready food supply and greater potential to breed.
Likewise build ups of redundant items give rats and mice harbourage encouraging their presence into the area and any faults with the fabric of the building will expose the interior to inward migration of the rodents.
Are there Laws and rules to follow for food chain premises?
Along with the British Laws and Acts passed by Parliament such as the Food Safety Act there are a host of European Rules that mean that you as a producer or retailer of food need to comply with in order to keep your business safe from prosecution.
These EU rules cover all stages of the production, processing, distribution and placing of food for human consumption: placing means the holding of food for the purpose of sale or any other form of transfer whether free of charge or not.
EU:852 begins with the statement that its intention is to pursue a high level of protection of human life and health, it also states that adequate procedures are to be in place to control pests. Any business involved in the food supply chain should engage a competent pest controller to monitor the premises against infestation by pests.
What if I don’t handle foodstuffs, do I need pest control?
You don’t have to run a food related business to have pest control, if you employ more than five staff you are required to have written Health and Safety policies and someone appointed as a competent person to manage all health and safety in house. Using a pest control company to monitor for rodents and to be on standby for call outs for issues that arise out of the blue is part of that structure to ensure a safe working place.
We deal with many companies that want pest control to tackle issues like mice in outbuildings and pigeons roosting in open plan environments like warehouses and loading bays, these will also have ‘pop up’ issues like wasps from time to time.
Our approach to pest control is through a mechanism known as Integrated Pest Management not only do we engage in monitoring, we make minor ongoing repairs to your property to keep animals like rats and mice at bay.
If you want us to assist you fulfil those obligations laid down through either food safety legislation or health and safety legislation give us a call; we can send out one of our qualified pest technicians and they can advise you of what you require.
Don’t delay phone us on 01344 534 311 and we will arrange a treatment for you!
We protect your business and your reputation.