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Having no pest control at your place of business, especially if food preparation is carried out within, can and often will result in prosecution resulting in fines up to £20.000, two years imprisonment and disqualification from catering. Not to mention the loss of reputation and business.
(EXTRACTS FROM) FOOD HYGIENE (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 1990 (UNDER REGULATIONS 2B AND 4C)
The above regulations state that “The walls, floors, doors, windows, ceiling, woodwork and all other parts of the structure of every food room shall be kept clean and shall be kept in such good order, repair and condition as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable the entry of birds, and any risk of infestation by rats, mice, insects or other pests”.
(EXTRACTS FROM) FOOD SAFETY ACT 1990
Section 21 provides the defence of “due diligence” in any proceedings for an offence if the person charged is able to prove that all reasonable precautions were taken and due diligence exercised to avoid the offence being committed. Actions taken to prevent or control pests by engaging the services of a professional pest control company may be put forward as part of a due diligence defence. It is recommended that any establishment that stores, prepares, holds, cooks or serves food for human consumption, including packaged confectionery, engage the services of a pest control company.
FOOD SAFETY (GENERAL FOOD HYGIENE) REGULATIONS 1995
Chapter 1 section 2 c of the above regulations (Legal requirements) states that “Food businesses must take all reasonable precautions to prevent food pests, namely rats, mice, cockroaches, and flying insects gaining entry into food storage and preparation areas”. This is to prevent the contamination of foodstuffs. Chapter 11 section 1 d of the above regulations (Legal requirement) states that “Windows and other openings which can be opened to the outside environment must where necessary be fitted with insect-proof screens”.
Windows must be screened if:
They open directly into food preparation areas.
They are opened for ventilation during food preparation.
Screening is necessary to prevent a risk of infestation and/or contamination.
FURTHER LEGISLATION RELATING TO PEST CONTROL:
The Environmental Protection Act 1990
Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
The Protection of Animals Act 1911
Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1927
The Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932
The Prevention of Damage by Rabbits Act 1939
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Health Services and Public Health Act 1968
Public Health (Infectious Diseases)Regulations 1968
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation 1988
Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986