The sight that all restaurateurs and hoteliers fear – the dreaded mouse droppings sequestered in a dark, hard to reach corner or worse, the brazen rodent or cockroach strolling across your restaurant dining area…

A well-known supermarket chain recently suffered a blow when they were issued with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice forcing the closure of a flagship store in central London. Abnormally large mice, nicknamed ‘Super-mice’ by the press, twice the size of the usual London dwelling rodent, were photographed inside food crates in the stock room of the store nibbling their way through kilograms of stock intended for front of house shelves and for sale. Chickens were found littered with rodent droppings, whilst the odour of rotting mice overpowered the ordinarily strong-stomached Environmental Health Officers who were inspecting the premises.

This breach of food hygiene legislation, and the potential impact upon customer safety meant the magistrate referred the case to the Crown Court as it was felt the maximum fine of £20,000 was insufficient. We await the sentencing decision.

As a prerequisite requirement to any HACCP system, you are required to put controls in place to reduce the risk of infestation by rodents, crawling insects such as cockroaches and flying insects.

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