HC Deb 05 July 2001 vol 371 cc280-1W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations were received by her Department and by its predecessor Department about the impact of foot and mouth restrictions on the use of unpasteurised milk for specialist cheese production; what the scientific basis was for restricting this use of unpasteurised milk; and what response she has made. [1176]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 28 June 2001]: The Ministry of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food received a number of representations on the manufacture and handling of unpasteurised cheese. My noble Friend the then Minister of State, Baroness Hayman, responded to those representations as the Minister responsible for animal health.

Foot and mouth disease virus can be excreted in milk before animals show clinical signs of the disease. Unpasteurised milk is therefore a potent source of infection, and any milk produced in an Infected Area is required to be heat treated.