Mr. Alan W. Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the number of reported cases of people affected by food poisoning caused by the bacterium salmonella enteritida found in eggs(a) for each year from 1980 to the present time and (b) for each calendar month during 1988.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
We do not have readily available information for the years 1980–87 for cases of food poisoning caused by salmonella enteritidis found in eggs. To date, in 1988 there have been 46 outbreaks of salmonella food poisoning involving over 1,000 cases in which the most likely source of infection was eggs. The monthly breakdown of cases is as follows. While we do not have readily available precise figures, a high proportion of these cases was associated with the salmonella enteritidis bacterium.
Number January 27 February — March — April 60 May 302 June 159 July 207 August 145 September 114 October 127
§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what responsibility his Department has for ensuring that foodstuffs are safe for human consumption and carry no risk of food poisoning; in what way this responsibility is carried out; how many and what type of staff are required; what is the annual cost to his Department; and what has been the change in the number of staff and the annual cost to his Department in each of the last five years.
§ Mrs. Currie
I shall let the right hon. Member have such information as can be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost as soon as possible.