Understanding Pest Control Regulations in Food Production

In the highly regulated world of food production, adherence to legal regulations is of the highest importance. From ensuring food safety to maintaining quality standards, food production companies in London and beyond are subject to a comprehensive set of regulations that govern their operations. Failing to meet these regulations can have dire consequences, ranging from legal penalties to reputational damage and even the potential closure of the facility.

Understanding and complying with the applicable regulations is not only a legal obligation but also essential for ensuring the health and well-being of consumers. There are several different regulations relevant to pests you’ll need to know, alongside an approved strategy for implementing them.

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The Key Regulations Governing Pest Control

For all businesses producing food, there are several key regulations that govern your obligations in terms of upholding product safety, hygiene, and workplace safety. Below are the key pieces of legislation you’ll need to follow, with links to government resources:

  • Food Safety Act 1990: The Food Safety Act 1990 places the responsibility on food business operators to take all necessary precautions to prevent pests from compromising the safety and hygiene of food products. This includes implementing effective pest control measures, maintaining proper sanitation practices, and conducting regular inspections to identify and address any pest-related issues promptly.
  • Food Standards Act 1999: This act established the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as the central regulatory body overseeing food safety and standards in the UK. Under these rules, food businesses are legally obligated to only sell food that is safe for consumption, which will include preventing contamination by pests.
  • Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013: These rules govern authorities and companies within the UK, and mean that food must be traceable and that businesses must collaborate with authorities to minimise risks from its consumption. While placed into law by an EU regulation, these rules have continued post-Brexit.
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: This legislation requires every business to protect its employees while at work, which will cover pest control, as many pests represent a direct threat to employee health.
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990: These rules govern waste management alongside other factors. Complying fully with waste disposal regulations is a crucial way of deterring pests.

How Your Business Will Need to Meet These Regulations

Food businesses must utilise a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) framework to ensure hygiene. This system, which can be set up for your business using the free online tool MyHACCP, will involve:

  • Identifying biological, chemical, and physical hazards to food safety that must be stopped or reduced.
  • Identifying Critical Control Points (CCPs), which are the points where you must take action to achieve these goals.
  • Having clear plans for action should something go wrong.
  • Documenting that all procedures and checks are being followed.
  • Having checks to ensure that all plans are working correctly.

The regulations governing food production make it clear that all food a company sells must be completely safe for human consumption. Failure to meet these standards can result in dire consequences.

The Consequences of Not Meeting Pest Control Regulations

Should a food production business fail to meet pest control standards, there are a range of consequences, both legal and in terms of reputation. Whether you’re producing food products for consumers or for other companies, the presence of pests can lead to dire repercussions:

  • Reputation Damage: For food production companies of any size, the presence of pests within a building or the supply of unsafe food can have an extremely damaging impact on reputation. This could lead to decreased sales, loss of contracts and future opportunities, and financial damages.
  • Product Recalls: Should you be found to have supplied food that has been compromised by pests, you could be subject to an expensive product recall, which would further damage the reputation of your business.
  • Fines: Businesses found to be breaching hygiene regulations can be fined large sums of money, which are calculated based on company turnover, meaning it will always be a considerable cost for you regardless of the size of your business.
  • Closure of Business: In exceptional cases, an environmental health offer can serve you a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition notice if they believe the conditions within your building represent a risk to health. This will result in the closure of your business and can be the start of criminal proceedings. This will be hugely damaging to your business, losing you all revenue and damaging your reputation permanently.

All food production businesses need to abide by regulations governing pests and food safety, both to keep the staff and customers healthy and to avoid serious threats to their future as a company. 

Food Safety Regulations

The food production industry operates under strict food safety regulations, such as the Food Standards Act and the Food Safety Act. These regulations encompass various aspects of your business, including stringent requirements for pest control. The responsibility for this lies with a business owner, and failure to meet these standards could lead to legal action, fines, and in extreme cases the forced closure of your business.

Keeping a safe and clean environment will require both thorough work on your part, and the services of pest control experts. Through a combination of rigorous cleaning, regular pest checks, and careful storage and waste management, you can help to keep your workplace safe. Working with a regular pest control team will also help you deal with ongoing pest issues, and prevent future ones.

How Our Contracts Help Food Production Companies Meet Regulation

We offer bespoke pest control contracts across the UK, tailored to your specific needs, both as a food production business and taking into account your building and the local area. Every contract with Safeguard opens with a thorough survey of your property, where our team will identify the likely pests you could find and any current issues that need addressing.

We work on a preventative basis whenever possible, working to clean, block, and keep your premises in excellent condition, holding rodents, insects, and birds at bay. Our technicians work across the UK, so should a disaster strike we’ll be there quickly with the training and equipment needed to keep your business safe.
By partnering with Safeguard you can ensure that your business is ready to meet all regulations. Speak to a member of our team today to find out more.

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