HC Deb 25 January 1954 vol 522 c1457
48. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Food what further investigations have been made to prevent a recurrence of food poisoning in schools as a result of using powdered milk

Dr. Hill

There have been comprehensive bacteriological tests of the milk powder which caused the recent outbreaks and the conditions of production at the particular factory have been thoroughly investigated. As a result a code of practice for the manufacture of dried milk is being prepared, and this will be issued shortly to all manufacturers.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Did these investigations lead to the discovery of the cause of this outbreak of food poisoning, which led to 131 children and six school teachers being poisoned last summer, because, if the cause has not been discovered, how does the hon. Gentleman propose to take the necessary precautions to prevent a recurrence of the outbreak?

Dr. Hill

The procedure in the manufacturing of milk was carefully studied, and it was thought that, in certain respects, it could be improved. Improvements have been made, with the result that over a period there has been no contamination of any kind. It is thought that a code of practice is required, and this is being prepared.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the only satisfactory improvement would be to give fresh milk? Can he say why powdered milk is still supplied when fresh milk is available for industrial purposes?

Dr. Hill

If the hon. Gentleman will put that question down, I shall be glad to answer it.