Senior Consultant, Assurity Consulting
12th December 2016
It always amazes me how pests can get so out of control in food premises. According to the press report the pest control contractor had visited the bakery 72 times over the course of the year and had reported numerous times about the pest activity. Yet still, a customer ended up eating a roll contaminated with mouse droppings, which led to the prosecution.
I believe that situations like this where control has clearly been lost are down to poor training of staff and no one taking responsibility. It was reported that the pest controller even made recommendations to help solve the problems, but they were ignored.
Catering facilities need to be more proactive rather than reactive when managing pest control. Staff should be trained in the basics of pest control to the extent of being able to identify mouse activity and reporting it. Management should be less reliant on the pest controllers to provide solutions and should be working with them to solve the problems. There is no excuse in compromising food safety because you are too busy. Ignoring pest control recommendations is a serious failure of management.
As this prosecution confirms, the consequence of poor pest management is reputational damage, a large fine and loss of income.
If you want confirmation that your pest management procedures are suitable an independent food safety audit is a good place to start. For more information on food safety audits, please click here