HC Deb 23 February 1989 vol 147 cc781-2W
Mrs. Gorman

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the location of preparation of the eggs involved in the 49 cases of salmonella food poisoning this year; if he will state whether the eggs involved were cooked, eaten raw, or mixed with other foods; what evidence led the Chief Medical Officer to decide that the food poisoning in the 49 cases was due to eggs rather than inadequate kitchen hygiene; what was the source of the eggs in the 49 cases; what was the age of the eggs before they were eaten; and how long the eggs had been prepared before they were eaten.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Detailed information on the 46 outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with the consumption of eggs reported to the public health laboratory service to the end of October 1988 is given in the public health laboratory service's memorandum submitted to the Agriculture Select Committee. I will arrange to send a copy to my hon. Friend. Information suggests that while inadequate kitchen hygiene may have been a contributory factor in some outbreaks we have no reason to believe that hygiene practices have shown any significant deterioration in 1988. Inadequate hygiene cannot account for the very marked increase in the total outbreaks of egg-associated salmonellosis reported in 1988.

Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase expenditure on measures that would help to limit food poisoning.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The hon. Member will be aware of many measures to help reduce food poisoning which have recently been announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and my Department. We will continue to take any necessary action.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of salmonellosis and of campylobacter have been recorded in each of the last five years.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Laboratory reports of cases of salmonellosis and campylobacter infection submitted to the Public Health Laboratory Service for the years 1983 to 1987 are given in the tables. The number of cases for 1988 are not yet available.

Year Number
Cases of salmonellosis
1983 13,250
1984 13,093
1985 11,172
1986 14,177
1987 16,991
Cases of campylobacter infection
1983 17,001
1984 20,861
1985 23,463
1986 24,757
1987 27,229

In most instances there is no evidence which links individual reported cases of campylobacter infection with a food vehicle.