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Trichinosis, Liverpool (Compensation)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 5 July 1954

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30.

asked the Minister of Food in how many cases compensation has been paid to persons who contracted trichinosis in Liverpool recently: and when he decided that his Department was liable.

In no case has liability been admitted or compensation been paid by my Department.

Is the Minister aware that it has been stated that in two cases compensation has already been paid by his Department? Will he look into this matter carefully because there are about 90 cases, and if liability is to be accepted in some the others ought also to be considered?

I think there is some misunderstanding. I believe that two claims have been made against the retailer—the Liverpool Co-operative Society—and it may be that they have been settled, but no claim has as yet been made or sustained in regard to my Department.

Will the Minister confirm that the pig responsible for this outbreak of trichinosis was the responsibility of the Ministry of Food, that the Ministry has already accepted responsibility, and that it was because of that fact that the Medical Officer of Health's Department in Liverpool was unable to trace the pig past the abattoir?

The Ministry will not deny anything which is its proper responsibility, but in the circumstances I suggest that it would be wiser to say no more at present.