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Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will outline the steps that are currently being taken to eradicate the cause of salmonella disease; what measures are being adopted to warn and protect consumers; and what information he has on the number of individuals who have been infected by the salmonella virus over the past year.

The Ministry has a comprehensive set of measures to control salmonella throughout the production chain. These measures include the testing of animal feedingstuffs and raw materials, poultry laying flocks, breeding flocks and hatcheries for the presence of salmonella and the compulsory slaughter with compensation of flocks found to be infected upon investigation.Risks from salmonella-related food poisoning can be greatly reduced by following good hygiene, preparation and cooking practices. The Government have produced a range of widely distributed public information material on microbiological food safety containing advice on the safe storage, handling, preparation and cooking of food. In addition, the Chief Medical Officer has issued specific advice on eggs.There were 27,693 isolations of salmonella from humans in England and Wales confirmed by the Public Health Laboratory Service Division of Enteric Pathogens in 1991.