§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will institute an immediate inquiry554W into the possible connection between cook-chill food and the incidence of listeriosis; and what steps have been taken to ensure that no risk exists in National Health Service hospitals using this system of catering to patients who are pregnant or elderly or with weakened immune systems;
(2) what advice he has received from the chief medical officer on the possible connection between the incidence of listeriosis and cook-chill catering in National Health Service hospitals; and what urgent action he proposes to take.
§ Mrs. Currie
[holding answer 27 July 1988]: While the incidence of listeriosis is increasing, only two cases are known to have been associated with food in the United Kingdom, neither of which was connected with the cook-chill catering system. There is no evidence to suggest the system is connected with this increased incidence and we have no plans to institute an enquiry. The Public Health Laboratory Service is investigating the food histories of all reported cases of listeriosis.