Q. After a complaint over the sighting of a rat my local EHO has inspected my kitchen and said he has found some evidence of a rat infestation. Now he’s asked me to close the kitchen. What should I do?
A. Damage limitation is key here and assuming that there is evidence of rats it would be wise to comply with the request for the kitchen to be closed temporarily in order to investigate and deal with the issue, rather than have the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) obtain an order from the Court.
I would suggest that you contact a local pest controller, as a matter of urgency, to deal with the problem. The pest controller should be able to conduct a deep-clean and also provide advice on how to stop a rat infestation happening again in the future.
The EHO may be happy for you to simply re-open when they are satisfied that the problem has been dealt with adequately however; it may be that you are subsequently asked to attend an interview under caution to establish how the problem arose in the first place.
There is a risk of prosecution and you should therefore obtain legal advice.
And there is also a risk that any negative publicity from any prosecution could severely damage your business.
For further information contact licensing partner Graeme Cushion on 0115 953 8500
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