The advice comes after a pub in Essex was fined £42,000 when rats were found nesting under the fridge in its kitchen.
Anderson Food Hygiene, an award-winning training, auditing and consultancy business for the hospitality sector, told The Morning Advertiser that many landlords and pub owners are failing to take the required steps to eradicate pests in their properties.
“Here at Anderson Food Hygiene we see many landlords and pub owners not adhering to some simple steps to eradicate or prevent pests within their own pubs, or using a cheaper pest control company which can result in bad publicity,” said Sylvia Anderson, managing director and food hygiene expert.
“What we would recommend is for pub owners or landlords to take a preventative or proactive approach to pests rather than try to control a problem. The key is to prevent it in the first place.”
Different pests require different prevention methods, said Anderson Food Hygiene. While fruit and house flies are primarily attracted by sugar and can be prevented by cleaning up spillages and fitting working insectocutors in pub kitchens, preventing mice and rats requires a combination of cleanliness and proofing.
“Brown rats are a year-round problem, and especially prolific in town centre buildings where there could be rubbish build-up and defects in town drainage,” Anderson said.
“Country pubs near farms and arable lands or canals will also suffer."
“It is important the landlord controls rubbish build-up, blocks up any gaps in walls or floors, makes sure doors are kept closed, rubbish is stored in rodent-proof bins and ensures all drain covers are fitted correctly and are not broken – missing drain covers are the usual entry for rats.”
Anderson recommended that all employees, whether short-term or permanent, are educated in basic cleaning and hygiene. Pub landlords concerned about possible pest infestations should conduct an audit of their food safety, which includes the structure of their building and identifies areas within the building that need proofing from pests.
“We would recommend all our clients have a six-monthly audit contract in place, a full food safety management system which includes cleaning schedules and employee training as part of the prevention of pests,” Anderson advised.
“But sometimes, it is down to the actual pub landlord or owner and their team to ensure that an outbreak of pests doesn’t occur. If they are not following the simple preventative steps and don’t follow direction from an audit, such as 'fill the gaps under doors', then they will experience an outbreak.”
Earlier this week, a JD Wetherspoon pub was forced to apologise after a rat was filmed running across the leather booths of the pub.