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Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for his statement on page 33 of his Department’s National Framework for responding to an influenza pandemic, that near-normal service levels are expected in the food and supplies industries in the event of an influenza pandemic. (175036)

I have been asked to reply.

DEFRA meets the food industry sector regularly to promote business continuity management, including how best to deal with the possibility of an influenza pandemic. The sector has robust and resilient business continuity plans to deal with any threat of disruption. Plans were tested earlier this year in a cross-Government pandemic flu exercise, in which the food industry participated.