HC Deb 02 February 1990 vol 166 cc363-4W
Mr. Michael

To ask the Prime Minister what split of responsibilities has been decided between the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food regarding areas of overlap in responsibility for problems relating to food poisoning.

The Prime Minister

Departmental responsibilities for food safety have not been changed. Food safety is a shared responsibility, as reflected in the Food Safety Bill. Most food safety regulations are jointly signed by the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The Department of Health leads on food hygiene and microbiological contamination except in respect of milk production and distribution, hygiene of meat and meat products, and eggs, where the lead is with MAFF. The Department of Health also operates a hazard warning system to deal with emergencies when unfit food poses an immediate hazard to health. MAFF leads on emergency measures under the Food and Environment Protection Act when a pollution incident threatens the food supply and leads on chemical contamination but takes advice on health risks from the Department of Health. There is close liaison between both Departments and consultation with relevant outside interests.