How to keep on the right side of health and safety
Rodents and vermin can spell death in the restaurant and hospitality trade and, as health and hygiene regulations become ever more stringent, it is increasingly important for proprietors keep up to speed.
A number of regulatory bodies enforce food safety legislation in England and Wales, but it is primarily monitored by local authority environmental health departments. National bodies including the Meat Standards Agency and the Food Standards Agency can also bring prosecutions.
Non-compliance can be disastrous. Investigations are thorough and unforgiving, interviewers are trained in drawing information from their subjects and prosecutions are very public. If successful, the prosecuting authority often issues press releases advertising their success. It can take years to build a restaurant's reputation, but just one conviction for food hygiene contravention to destroy it.
To avoid enforcement action, business must ensure robust food safety standards and procedures. Regular reviews, daily monitoring of premises, frequent revising of the applicable laws can all keep a premises on the right side of regulations.
It is also important for staff to be fully aware of and trained in all procedures, and pre-emptive measure are used to ensure any louring vermin do not get close to the threshold, let alone over it.
Unable to use conventional poisons, restaurants commonly use humane means of keeping vermin away, including electromagnetic repellants. These plug into the mains electricity of a premises and create a pulsating field that is intolerable to rats and mice.