Client Story

Artisan bakery defended against complaint made to local Environmental Health Officer

19th February 2024

Our client is a well-known artisan bakery. It had an adverse food safety inspection by the local Environmental Health Officer (EHO) who had received a complaint alleging rodent infestation.

The EHO identified some mouse activity. He found dropping on the exterior of the property, where bait boxes had been set by the business’ pest control company and he alleged that rodents were accessing the food premises since the door curtain was open, at the time of inspection.

Our client disputed that there was an infestation; and noted that the officer had attended during full production, immediately prior to deliveries being made. Whilst the company operates a ‘clean as you go’ policy and a deep clean at the end of each shift, certain work stations were untidy since they were in full production.

The EHO requested that the premises either voluntarily close or he would be forced to serve an Emergency Hygiene Prohibition Notice. Our client reluctantly agreed to do so and then sought our help.

Having carried out a site visit, we negotiated with the council enabling the ‘notice’ to be lifted and business to reopen following a full pest control inspection. We also ensured that no further action was taken by the EHO.