You must ensure that pests such as mice, rats and insects are not able to gain access to your food business, as they can carry harmful bacteria that can contaminate food and put members of staff at risk. You need to be aware of the signs of any pest activity, and must take action if you or any staff notice those signs in or around your business. Pests can easily enter through small holes in or around doors and windows; juvenile rats can fit through holes an inch wide, while mice can fit through even smaller spaces.
The Food Standards Agency’s Safer Food, Better Business pack has a useful page on Pest Control.
If your business is particularly large or vulnerable to pest infestation (for example, if it is located directly next to a river or is within an area with historic pest problems), you may wish to consider hiring a private contractor to manage your business’ pest control. These are who professionals will assess how often your business will need inspecting for pest activity, and offer advice on how to solve any pest-related issues you may have. They will often give you a report from each visit, detailing any signs of activity or action taken during.
The Council offer pest control callout services and contracts, where regular checks and visits can be carried out to prevent pests gaining access to your business and eliminate any infestations. You can find more details of this service here.