§ Mr. Canavan
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many complaints about food poisoning he has dealt with in the past year; and what steps he is taking as a result.
§ Mr. Ryder
Incidents of food poisoning are generally handled by local authorities in the first instance, and the oversight of epidemiological information is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. However, I receive a number of representations on related matters. In the last 12 months I have, for example, introduced a comprehensive set of measures to deal with salmonella in eggs, and set in hand research on a wide range of related issues, including the susceptibility of listeria to temperatures applied in storage or cooking.
With my right hon. and learned Friend I have also issued a food hygiene leaflet entitled "Food Safety A Guide From Her Majesty's Government", and set up a committee, under the chairmanship of Professor Sir Mark Richmond, to make recommendations on the microbiological safety of food.