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Guidelines for Environmental Health and Best Practice
Below are the highlighted recommendations from the Chartered institution for environmental health which are great guidelines for managing hotels and the catering industry:
- Owners and managers of premises are expected to take an active role in pest minimisation and management issues in their accommodation and to obtain professional advice as necessary
- Owners and managers of accommodation are expected to employ qualified pest control professionals and to follow safe, effective and sustainable pest control methods
- Such expectations are part of the general responsibility and duty of care of premises management to provide a safe environment for employees, customers, contractors, and others, under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
- Regulation (EC) 852/2004 lays down general hygiene requirements for all food business operators and states that the layout, design and construction of food premises are to permit good food hygiene practices including protection against contamination and in particular pest control. Adequate procedures should also be in place to control pests
Sustainability and integrated pest management owners and managers of hospitality accommodation are expected to put into place an integrated pest management plan that can be implemented and audited as part of the business/premises management programme. The plan should be sensitive to the issues of sustainability without prejudicing public health.
The plan should also encourage the minimal use of pesticides, and pesticides should be used in a way that minimises exposure to people and the environment.
Sustainable pest management can be achieved through regular inspections, dealing with infestations quickly, and implementing proofing and hygiene improvements.
The routine and preventative use of broad-spectrum insecticides within accommodation is not recommended.
Your local environmental health service, within the local council, will be able to give you more information and advice
Managers and staff working within the hotel / accommodation must keep alert to any signs of infestation. In addition they should:
- Regularly inspect the premises for signs of pests on a fortnightly or monthly basis, including mattresses and beds; store rooms; food stores; kitchens and waste retention areas
- Regularly inspect the premises also for any situation that may encourage or support pest infestations
- Keep records of the inspection, findings and any action taken to treat an infestation
- Remedy any situation found through inspection as soon as possible to minimise the impact and spread of the infestation
- Set up a pest control contract with a specialist service
- Respond promptly to all reports from guests or staff and potential pest problems
The pest control contractor should be notified immediately of any evidence or report of potential infestation.
Where infestations are identified appropriate treatments should be implemented as soon as possible.
Professional pest control input should always be used. If a new pest control contractor is required, approach companies that are a member of a recognised trade association. Environ are members of the BPCA, NPTA, SAFE CONTRACTOR APPROVED and CHAS.
If a pest infestation in a bedroom is identified by hotel staff or a guest, the room should be taken out of service and the pest control contractor contacted immediately.
As guests may have inadvertently transferred the infestation on clothes, shoes and luggage, they should be relocated to another room, ideally on the same floor/area, to prevent further spread of the infestation.
Both areas should be treated by the pest control contractor as the guest may have inadvertently transferred the infestation in clothes, shoes and luggage.
Use and storage of pesticides
Most pest control work on site will be carried out by a professional pest control organisation, typically either from the local authority environmental health department or from a pest control company who are a member of a recognised trade body.
The pest control contractor should provide a programme of proposed monitoring and remedial work on site, together with safety information on any products that they intend to use. At each visit, they should provide a report on their findings and recommendations, as well as details of any treatments carried out. Paperwork from the pest control contractor should be kept in a safe yet accessible place in the site office.
Use of pesticides. Good pest control is based on creating conditions which prevent pests from infesting premises. However, this may not always be possible and in many cases pesticides will still be required to remedy particular pest problems.
Under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 and 1987 (as amended) it is illegal to advertise, sell, supply, store or use a pesticide in the UK unless it has been approved by Ministers for that use.
Many of the pesticides used in the industry will be approved for “professional use only”. In this context, professional use is defined as use by someone who has received appropriate information, instruction and training; is competent to carry out the duties they are called upon to perform; and is required to use the pesticide as part of their work.
This means that only a properly qualified pest control operator should be employed to carry out any work required.
All approved pesticides carry an HSE reference number on the label confirming that they have been approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 or 1987 (as amended). Checks should be undertaken to ensure that only approved pesticides are being used, since the use of illegal pesticides may have health risks.