§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many food safety incidents his Department investigated in 1996. 
§ Mrs. Browning
The investigation of food safety incidents is generally the responsibility of local authorities. In exceptional cases where a potential public health risk has regional or national implications or where there is a major local incident, local authorities notify the Department of Health, which will take action as appropriate through the food hazard warning system. There were 144 food safety incidents reported to the Department of Health during 1996.