HC Deb 14 April 1969 vol 781 cc782-3
37. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, how many hotels and restaurants were inspected in 1968; and how many prosecutions were initiated for breaches of food and hygiene regulations.

Mr. Ennals

The local authorities are responsible for both inspection and prosecution. The information requested is not recorded centrally.

Mr. Hamilton

Does not my hon. Friend agree that there are far too many hotels and restaurants in which the standards of hygiene leave far too much to be desired? Is he aware that the Medical Officer of Health for Brighton, speaking in the "World at One" programme this morning, indicated that there are many of these establishments in Brighton and other seaside resorts? Will he take vigorous action to bring these establishments to heel and see that they observe the regulations?

Mr. Ennals

As I told my hon. Friend, the responsibility is primarily one for local authorities, but I agree that in some cases—I am not going to specify—the standard is much below what one would expect and which we and visitors to this country are entitled to expect. I hope that what has been said in the House today will be brought to the attention of local authorities which have this responsibility.

Sir E. Bullus

The hon. Gentleman said that he is not prepared to specify any areas, but would he at least clear London of this charge?

Mr. Ennals

No, I certainly would not. I myself have experience certainly in restaurants and cafés where I consider the standard is well below what the British public and visitors from abroad are entitled to expect.