§ Mr. Corrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the review of Crown immunity in respect of hospital kitchens in Scotland has been completed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Yes. I have concluded that the existence of Crown immunity from the food hygiene provisions of the Food and Drugs (Scotland) Act 1956 in hospital kitchens is a factor which can have the effect of detracting from the responsibility of those most directly in a position to control the hygienic preparation of food.233W
I share the conclusion of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services that stronger safeguards are needed to underpin management efforts and to protect the patients. Accordingly legislation to be introduced in the present Session will be applied in Scotland to remove Crown immunity from hospital catering in respect of the Food Hygiene Regulations by making health authorities subject to the relevant provisions of legislation dealing with food.
Strengthened guidance will be given to the Health Service on measures to ensure high food hygiene standards. The Government are determined to spare no effort to secure the highest standards of food hygiene in hospitals.