29/11/2016 - Permalink

Uninvited furry guest pays visit to council restaurant

Related topics: Community / Health

Staff at Shirehall have been a little ratty this week, after an uninvited furry visitor caused the Column Restaurant to close yesterday morning (Monday 28 November).

Unfortunately, as with all homes and businesses across the county, Shirehall is not impervious to nature, and a rat is believed to have entered the Column Restaurant at Shirehall over the weekend.

However, what happened next is a ‘tail’ of just how to deal with such a situation.

Rather than thinking “there’s a rat in our kitchen, what are we gonna do?”, the restaurant was immediately closed, and a thorough deep clean of both the seating area and the kitchen has been carried out.

The council’s Environmental Health and Pest Control officers are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.

To eliminate any potential risk to staff and customers the restaurant is closed again today (Tuesday) and will remain closed until we’re certain that our furry friend is no longer on the premises.

We’re also checking there has been no damage caused to electrical equipment and have taken steps to prevent further visits from unwanted guests in the future.

We appreciate this is a bit of a ‘cheesy’ attempt to spin an unfortunate situation into a positive, but it does help to highlight the incredibly important service that our Pest Control and Environmental Health team deliver to keep everyone safe and healthy.

As with all Shropshire Council catering facilities, The Column Restaurant prides itself on its cleanliness and high quality service. The Column restaurant has a top ‘5’ rating in the government’s food hygiene standard ratings.

Shropshire Council’s pest control team treat rats (and many other pests) in homes and business premises across the county – more information can be found at: https://new.shropshire.gov.uk/pest-control.

About rats – and how to tell if you have a problem

Rats associate themselves with humans for food and shelter.

Landowners have a responsibility to deal with rats on their land. If a landowner doesn’t adequately deal with an infestation of rats, we have legal powers to require that action is taken.

You may not be aware of a problem if it’s slight, but you may become aware of the following signs:

  • presence of rat burrows in the ground – entrance holes approximately 7.5 – 10 cm in diameter at the side of sheds, in grassy banks, under tree roots, log piles, edge of paving stones or around drain covers
  • droppings which are black and can be up to 2cm long and resemble a spindle shape
  • damage caused by gnawing – rats gnaw all the time, even on non-food material, to wear down their front teeth
  • smooth run down areas in the garden (rat runs) caused by rats running along the same path day after day. Where rats have become established indoors there will be a very characteristic musty odour. Their favourite foods are cereal products and they will gnaw and rip open packets.