HC Deb 21 December 1988 vol 144 cc308-9W
Mr. Holt

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many salmonella infected eggs were discovered during routine testing at(a) the Government's research station at Colindale and (b) other public or private testing establishments during the past two years.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

I refer the hon. Member to my replies to the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Wardell) and my hon. Friend for Bromsgrove (Sir H. Miller) on 20 December.

Mr. Holt

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of salmonella poisoning directly attributable to eggs have led to deaths in each of the past five years.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The table shows the number of cases of bacteraemia (blood poisoning) due to salmonella reported by laboratories to the public health laboratory service.

Salmonella in humans
England and Wales
Year Serotype Typhimurium Serotype Enteritidis Other serotypes Total
1986 7,094 4,771 5,111 16,976
1987 7,660 6,858 6,014 20,532
19881 5,488 13,004 4,546 23,038
1To end October.

It is not possible to attribute all cases to a specific food vehicle but we know that, to the end of October 1988 there were 46 reported outbreaks involving over 1,000 people in which the likely source of infection was eggs.

Mr. Ralph Howell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many persons, as a result of salmonella in eggs, have been(a) admitted to hospital, (b) classified as seriously ill and (c) have died, in 1988 and each of the previous 10 years; and how many patients are currently (i) in hospital and (ii) seriously ill as a result of salmonella poisoning by eggs.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

[holding answer 19 December 1988]: We cannot separately identify, from data collected centrally, the information requested on hospital admissions and the numbers of seriously ill.

Some information is available on the numbers of cases and deaths from salmonellosis bacteraemias reported by laboratories to the Public Health Laboratory Service as follows:

Reports of salmonellosis bacteraemias (England and Wales)
Total salmonella bacteraemias1 S. enteritidis bacteraemias
Cases Deaths1 Cases (PT4) Deaths (PT4)2
1983 201 30 14 ( 4) 5 ( 2)
1984 203 33 17 ( 1) 3 (—)
1985 151 30 30 ( 9) 5 ( 3)
1986 192 21 43 (19) 5 ( 4)
1987 226 35 61 (26) 15 ( 9)
19883 237 48 120 (87) 26 (23)
1Excluding S. typhi/paratyphi.
2Deaths known to have occurred among these cases.
3To end October.

We do not have earlier information readily available.

There is no direct evidence to link these deaths with the consumption of eggs, but salmonella enteritidis phage type 4(PT4) is associated almost exclusively with chicken and eggs and we must assume that some of the deaths shown in the final column will have been associated with eggs.

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