HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc371-2W
Andrew George

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list dairy products which if brought into the UK by international travellers are considered to be a health risk by the "Don't Bring Back More Than You Bargained For" campaign; and what risks are associated with each. [101268]

Mr. Morley

Passengers entering the United Kingdom from third countries are prohibited by EU and domestic law from bringing in for their personal consumption, milk and milk products.

These prohibited products include, milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, ghee, and milk powder.

In terms of animal health, exotic viral diseases that can be transmitted in milk include Foot and Mouth Disease, Rinderpest and Peste des Petits Ruminants. Heat treatment or other processing could destroy some or all of the virus present in the product but there remains the possibility of recontamination after production.

In terms of human health, there is no definitive list of dairy products that may be considered to be a health risk. All food products that are not subject to stringent health and hygiene controls may be contaminated with bacteria or undesirable chemicals. The Food Standards Agency has responsibility for human food safety matters.

Uncontrolled animal products (including dairy products) pose an increased risk to human and animal health in general terms primarily due to their perishable nature and association as vectors of both animal disease and human pathogens.

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