HC Deb 13 July 1959 vol 609 cc10-1
15. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Health how many outbreaks of food poisoning have occurred in hospitals under his direction within the last year for which records are available; in how many of these the probable sources of infection were identified: and what they were.

Mr. R. Thompson

The available information shows that 48 outbreaks occurred in hospitals in 1958. Fifteen were traced to meats or meat products, two to cheese, and in eight the causal food was not known. Salmonellae organisms were responsible in the other 23 outbreaks, but the causal food was only identified in one.

Mr. Hastings

Will the Parliamentary Secretary take special care to see that those engaged in the preparation of food in hospitals have some elementary instruction about the dangers of the work in which they are engaged and the possibility of infecting a whole hospital, as has happened more than once, by a cut on the finger being neglected or something of that sort?

Mr. Thompson

Guidance has been issued to hospital authorities about hygiene in catering departments. I assure the hon. Member that we shall continue to watch this very carefully.