Fines for food safety offences are increasingly making the news

Laura Mintram 2015 avatar

Laura Mintram
Senior Consultant, Assurity Consulting
28th January 2019

Fines for pest infestations in restaurants have been increasingly making the news headlines.

A routine Environmental Health Officer visit to a restaurant in Croydon, which is currently rated 12 of 390 on TripAdvisor resulted in fines of over £13,500 when a significant mouse infestation was discovered. According to the Sutton & Croydon Guardian, mouse droppings were found on the kitchen floor, on dirty shelves where crockery was stored, on food containers and at the bottom of a cupboard.

Even more concerning, shredded paper towels and droppings were found under a fridge, indicating the mice had been nesting within the kitchen itself. After the infestation was discovered in November 2017, the owner of Karnavar voluntarily closed the restaurant for 24 hours to carry out a thorough clean of the premises. The company director pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

A mouse infestation can cause an abundance of food hygiene problems for a catering business as they are known to urinate and defecate on food and food preparation surfaces, as well as cause damage to stored food. I have also noticed that local authority Environmental Health Officers are quick to prosecute any food business where mice appear to be present.

This can incur significant costs and the resulting publicity will cause damage to the restaurant’s reputation. A review of the latest comments posted on TripAdvisor for Karnavar confirms this. It is important that all employees are trained to identify the signs of a mouse infestation and more importantly know what action to take.

If you are concerned about pest control in your premises, Assurity Consulting can carry out a Food Safety Audit where we can help identify any problems and offer expert solutions.