Kathryn Gilbertson

+44 (0)1733 887621 kgilbertson@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Getting hospitality businesses ready for reopening: pest control

Food / 12 March 2021

Last month we shared our summary of the Government’s COVID-19 Response Spring 2021 (the Roadmap). Assuming the four tests outlined in that summary are satisfied, outdoor hospitality can re-open on 12 April 2021, as well as other outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas which also have catering facilities. Indoor hospitality will hopefully resume on 17 May 2021. In readiness for these dates, Head of Regulatory, Kathryn Gilbertson, highlights some of her key health and safety tips in this mini-series “Getting hospitality businesses ready for reopening”. This first update will discuss pest control.

Many hospitality businesses have been shut for months in response to the national lockdown and old tier lockdown rules. Whilst employees may have been furloughed, pests such as rodents, birds, cockroaches and other insects have not. Many pests have used the intervening months to infest property and spoil foodstuffs.  With the decrease in street litter, rodents have gnawed their way into hospitality premises to find a new source of food and bedding.  In order for you to re-open your kitchens in April (for outdoor hospitality) or in May (for indoor hospitality), you need to be checking your facilities and dealing with any issues now – starting with pests!

The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 requires a food business operator (FBO) to put in place procedures to control pests as well as protecting food from contamination. 

Failure to take control of pests can have significant consequences: the increased difficulty of eradication; forced closure of the property; this is without considering fines and reputational damage. All food businesses, particularly after long periods of closure, should consider instructing a professional pest control contractor, those who know which products can be used within a food business environment.

We have experience acting for a variety of businesses for pest-related issues and enforcement by local authorities. We can help provide you with a clear route-map of the law when it comes to your legal obligations relating to pest control and advising on pest control contracts and services as well as robustly defending your position should action be taken. Don’t delay, get those pests away!


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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