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Volume 164: debated on Thursday 21 December 1989

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North (Mr. Howell), of 13 December, Official Report, column 689, what evidence he has that the removal of salmonella infected poultry flocks is helping to reduce the level of salmonella infection in humans; and if he will make a statement.

The earlier reply referred to the risk of salmonella infection in humans. This risk is being reduced by the Government's measures, particularly through the compulsory slaughter of laying flocks known to be infected with invasive salmonella. Information collected by the public health laboratory service indicates that the number of salmonella food poisoning outbreaks associated with eggs rose from 23 in the first nine months of 1988 to 30 in the same period in 1989. This was a much lower rate of increase than that recorded in the previous two years.