Staff at Arsenal‘s Emirates Stadium have been sent for extra training on pest control after Sportsmail revealed the venue had been hit by a mice infestation.
Workers at Arsenal’s ground – which we can disclose is one of only two Premier League stadia not to achieve a five-star hygiene rating – have seen experts as part of a wide-ranging attempt to tackle what has been described as ‘an ongoing issue’.
The Gunners, who have also increased pest-proofing measures at the 60,000- capacity stadium, have been praised by inspectors from the local authority for making ‘great improvements’ in the area of pest control.
Staff at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium have been sent for extra training on pest control
However, a number of issues were raised in the latest hygiene report carried out earlier this year.
Sportsmail revealed the infestation following an inspection in late 2016 which unearthed ‘extensive evidence of mouse activity’ across ‘all four levels of the stadium’.
Officers found mouse droppings in a number of areas and discovered that many staff were oblivious to the issue – with inspectors having to bring out torches to shine a light on the problem. A lack of cleaning was also criticised.
Along with the extra training and increased pest proofing, Arsenal also brought in an external company to carry out an audit.
A number of issues were raised in the latest hygiene report carried out earlier this year
The latest report highlights a failure of the doors to close properly in a central processing area, which inspectors say remains an ‘important area of proofing outstanding’.
They also advise that the club’s caterers should install foot-pedal bins in the kitchens, as chefs are currently using their hands to lift the existing wheelie-bin flaps, resulting in ‘reducing the efficacy of frequent hand washing or, at busy times, leaving the lids open which encourages odours and pests’.
Tickets to see matches at the Emirates are among the most expensive in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s home was given a four-star hygiene rating, which makes them the only top flight club apart from promoted Aston Villa (also four) not to hit the five-star mark.
The latest report highlights a failure of the doors to close properly in a central processing area
The Gunners are also carrying out a rolling programme to replace single taps with mixer taps to ensure better temperature regulation for staff when washing their hands and encourage them to do so more often.
The report adds: ‘There has been a great improvement in the standards of pest control and cleaning since the last primary inspection. I can’t emphasise how important it is for both DNC UK (operators Delaware North) and stadium management to maintain these new measures.’
An Arsenal spokesperson said: ‘We have always taken hygiene matters extremely seriously and have increased our actions to ensure Emirates Stadium exceeds the recommendations made.
Increased visits from pest control experts, independent audits, additional staff training and substantial investment in proofing have all been implemented. We continue to look at ways to improve in this area.’