HC Deb 18 June 1973 vol 858 cc59-60W
Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will introduce legislation to ensure prior approval by public health authorities for premises intended for opening as food shops or take-away food stores; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will introduce legislation to ensure the prompt closure of insanitary premises used for the selling of food until the public health inspector has passed such premises as hygienic; and if he will make a statement;

(3) if he will take steps to improve the hygiene conditions in food shops in Great Britain and to strengthen the laws that govern hygiene in the sale of food; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

The Food Hygiene (General) Regulations 1970, which the local authorities are responsible for enforcing, replaced and strengthened earlier regulations. The requirements are comprehensive, and when rigorously applied provide the local authorities with effective means of control.

Nevertheless, as undertaken in the Adjournment debate on 10th March 1972 and again in answer to the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) on 16th May 1972—[Vol. 837, c. 68.]—we shall consider adopting powers to close food premises in exceptional circumstances when the Food and Drugs Act comes under review. We shall also, at that time, give consideration to the proposal to require the approval of the local authority to be obtained before food premises are opened.