HC Deb 10 April 2000 vol 348 c12W
Joan Ruddock

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost to the NHS of treating food-related illnesses for each of the last five years for which figures are available. [118296]

Yvette Cooper

[holding answer 7 April 2000]: No specific figures are available on the cost to the National Health Service of treating food-related illnesses. As a result of a study in 1994–95, we have a good estimate of the total number of cases of infectious intestinal disease, but it is not possible to say what proportion of this is foodborne. The figures below, based on the study, suggest that the costs to the NHS in England and Wales of treating illness due to the major food poisoning bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter alone was:

1995 22.9
1996 22.6
1997 26.1
1998 29.6
1999 27.8

It needs to be stressed, however, that as these figures are not routinely collected, the information is an estimate based on the most recently available figures, and solely on a study undertaken several years ago.