HC Deb 23 November 1964 vol 702 cc901-2
13. Mr. John Hall

asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to ensure that food industry employees handling foodstuffs of a kind which could be a ready vehicle of infection are subject to regular medical checks.

Mr. Robinson

I am advised that such checks would not be more effective than the present requirements for notifying infection.

Mr. Hall

While it is said that we are supposed to ingest a peck of dirt before we die, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that because of the disregard of elementary personal hygiene in many establishments handling food we are too often required to ingest the wrong kind of dirt? In view of the typhoid outbreaks that we have suffered in recent years, will he look at the question again and see whether it is possible to introduce legislation?

Mr. Robinson

I am intending to review the provisions relating to infections and food handlers in the light of anything said in the Milne Report on the Aberdeen typhoid epidemic, which I expect shortly, but I am advised that if the hon. Gentleman's proposals were accepted, food handlers would have to be examined almost every day to ensure that they were continuously free from infection and likely not to cause food poisoning, and this is not thought to be very practical.