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Food Hygiene Certificate Blog

How to avoid food hygiene fines due to pests

Pests can pose a significant hygiene threat to food storage and preparation areas, so it is important to take steps to avoid them. This will help you to avoid potentially hefty fines.


Working in the food industry means there are a number of potential issues you need to be aware of and take steps to avoid. Not only is this the case when it comes to ensuring the highest quality of food is being delivered, it is also vital in terms of avoiding pest problems that could lead to hygiene fines.


All food businesses need to take reasonable precautions to avoid pest infestation in food preparation and storage areas. This is to stop contamination taking place, which can lead to serious illness. Failure to take steps to avoid pests, such as; mice, rats, flying insects, cockroaches and other insects, can result in hefty fines.


So how do you work to avoid pests where you are preparing, storing or serving food?


Thorough and regular cleaning


Ensuring all areas where food storage and preparation take place are thoroughly and regularly cleaned is hugely important in terms of pest control. If food is available for pests to feed on, they are more likely to thrive.


However, if you ensure that everything is thoroughly cleaned and there is no food available for pests to feed on, there is a greater chance that they'll move on to somewhere else. This means you need to clean your kitchen a couple of times a day, perform weekly deep cleans and keep fridges and cupboards organised and tidy at all times.


Address leaks and remove clutter


It isn't just food that can attract pests. Cockroaches can be equally attracted to and sustained by water, which means any liquid spillages should also be dealt with quickly and thoroughly.


Things like sweating pipes and full fridge overflow containers can all potentially attract cockroaches, with cluttered kitchen and storage spaces offering plenty of places for them to hide. Keep an eye out for leaks and keep food preparation and storage areas as tidy as possible.


Proper food disposal


It is also vital that you ensure waste food is being disposed of correctly. Failure to do this can attract pests, particularly mice and rats. This means getting rid of all scraps of food, emptying bins regularly, not overfilling bins and ensuring regular rubbish collections.


On top of this, it is also a good idea to rinse out bins and rubbish storage areas after they have been emptied to avoid any spillages from attracting pests. It is also a good idea to use strong bin liners to prevent breakages.


Create a food safety policy

It is really important to have a food safety policy in place that all staff are trained in and refreshed on at regular points. This should cover everything from how to clean, dispose of food waste and organise storage.


You should also make sure it covers risks of pests and how people can identify that there are pests present, as well as what steps to take if this is the case. All of this information should be readily available for reference as and when it is needed.


 with staff on the lookout for potential pest problems, it can be easy to miss the signs, which can result in fines. Rather than relying on others to highlight the problem, arrange for regular and thorough checks to be performed by a pest control contractor.


This will make sure you're made aware of any issues that haven't been picked up, as well as allow you to take appropriate action to deal with them. If it does turn out there is a pest problem, make sure you have thorough documentation that shows how it was taken care of so you can show the hygiene inspector.





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