§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors he has identified within the process of food production as making a significant contribution to the increased number of food poisoning cases reported in each of the last four years: and if he will make a statement.86W
§ Mr. Freeman
Food poisoning organisms can enter the food production chain at any point during processing, distribution, sale and consumption. The food industry has a legal responsibility to ensure that food produced and sold is fit for human consumption.
The increase in the number of reported cases may reflect in part both heightened public awareness of food poisoning and recent changes in the system for recording and collating data operated by the public health laboratory service.
We have sought advice from the committee on the microbiological safety of food on the increasing incidence of foodborne illness.