§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice has been given to local councils and environmental health officers concerning the regular inspection of pre-cooked chilled foods with regard to outbreaks of food poisoning.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The regular inspection of food is a matter for local authorities. We have advised chief environmental health officers that end product testing is not an effective means of ensuring the microbiological safety of batches of food. The microbiological control of pre-cooked chilled food is best achieved by good manufacturing and retail practice and the inspection of foods should concentrate on those aspects rather than undertaking extra routine final product testing.