Will big fines make customers take pest control seriously?

Here in the Pest office we’ve picked up on a number of big fines being levied on household companies for breaches in food safety. We're hoping these might make customers take pest management more seriously.

The latest was a £700,000 fine for Asda’s mouse infested in-house bakery at its Bromborough supermarket on the Wirral.

The fine was imposed by Liverpool Magistrates Court on 4 September. Asda was also instructed to pay £34,000 costs.

Following a tip off Environmental Health Officers found mouse droppings were under shelving, under a water cooler, below metal storage cages and on the bottom of a cooling rack. Officers also witnessed a live mouse on a baking tray situated on the cooling racks in the bakery.

They also discovered a mouse dropping on a baking tray right next to a cooling cookie, directly posing a risk of physical and microbial contamination to food. Asda’s pest control is conducted, we understand, by City Facilities Management UK.

You can listen to or read the full story on the Liverpool Echo website.

  

Store logos

Earlier in February this year, Holland & Barrett was hit with a £500,000 fine again for mouse infestation. The infestation was in its Knightsbridge store. Again Environmental Health Officers were acting on a tip off then they found the store covered in droppings and urine. The case received high profile publicity in the London Evening Standard

And in January Poundland was fined £134,000 after environmental health officers discovered chocolate Santas gnawed by mice at a Birmingham city centre store. Read more in the Birmingham Mail

Sentencing guidelines
New sentencing guidelines took effect on 1 February 2016, meaning that fines for breaches in food safety regulations are now calculated on the profit a company makes. We hope this development will make companies sit up and think about the consequences of poor pest management and take more notice of the advice given by their pest management companies. Those businesses that buy pest control services purely on cost should not be surprised when they receive poor service. Let’s hope the prospect of being faced with a large fine encourages them to spend a bit more on a professional pest management service.



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