Rat infestation forces food factory closure

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

A food firm was forced to close last week after a rat infestation. Pictured provided by Wikipedia user Earth'sbuddy under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License
A food firm was forced to close last week after a rat infestation. Pictured provided by Wikipedia user Earth'sbuddy under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

Related tags: North yorkshire

An infestation of rats forced sandwich manufacturer CK Foods in Bedale, North Yorkshire – trading as Country Kitchens – to close part of its factory for three days last week.

Environmental health officers from Hambleton District Council ordered the firm to close part of the factory during an inspection of the premises on Monday (February 12).

Two days later (February 14), Northallerton Magistrates agreed with the council’s decision, granting it a court order to keep the business closed until officers were satisfied conditions in the premises no longer presented a health risk.

No appeal

Derek Coulson, owner of CK Foods, did not appeal against the decision to close the factory, according to the council.

Paul Staines, director of leisure and environment at Hambleton District Council, said officers used emergency powers to deal with a food business that was operating far below the legal standard.

“Food produced in dirty premises, or those with pest activity in them, pose serious risks to the safety of the food being produced there. Pest activity in food businesses is unacceptable and can lead to food poisoning,”​ said Staines.

‘Risks to the health of consumers’

“Where officers find that standards in food businesses pose serious risks to the health of consumers, they are authorised to take action. This includes powers to stop businesses from trading.”

The affected part of the production unit remained closed until Thursday (February 15) when officers were satisfied there was no longer a risk to public health.

An investigation into the reasons for the poor conditions in the premises is now underway. FoodManufacture.co.uk has approached CK Foods for a comment.

Meanwhile, food manufacturers face a new generation of mutant rats resistant to conventional poison, ​according to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).

The BPCA referred to findings in a new study by the University of Reading, commissioned by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use. It found that the rats carried a genetic mutation that made them resistant to conventional poisons.

Related topics: Legal, Hygiene, safety & cleaning

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