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Illegal Meat Imports

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role his Department has played in assessing bacteriological samples of illegally imported meat products for the purposes of protecting public health. [108915]

I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that, whilst it does not have a role in assessing bacteriological samples of illegally imported meat, it has advised local authorities, who are responsible for enforcement of imported food and food safety legislation, that all illegally imported food products, including meat, should be removed from the human food chain. Such food is destroyed and there is no requirement for laboratory examination to identify micro-organisms or toxins.The United Kingdom organisations involved in the collection of foodborne disease data are not aware of any links between illegally imported meat products and outbreaks of foodborne disease in humans.