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House of Commons Commission

Volume 559: debated on Thursday 28 February 2013

The hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, was asked—

Food Products

1. What discussions the Commission has had with the Food Standards Agency on products served at catering outlets in the House of Commons. (145139)

The Commission has no direct discussions with the Food Standards Agency on products served in its outlets. However, the House’s catering service continues to be vigilant and to act in line with FSA recommendations. The catering service is also in communication with its accredited suppliers, trade associations, the trade press and an independent food safety service about any potential problems in the food supply chain.

Consumers, whether they are in the House of Commons or on the high street, expect integrity in their food supply. Will the hon. Gentleman continue that contact with suppliers so that they look at their suppliers to ensure that this House has integrity of supply?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that request and can certainly give him that assurance. The recent case of some products being withdrawn happened precisely because the supplier, Brakes, made contact with us as part of that dialogue. I am delighted to say that they are all back in service, having been found to have had no problems.

I thank my hon. Friend for the work he and the Commission are doing in this regard. May I also request that we consider the traceability issue and use this as an opportunity to take prime beef from north Yorkshire, as that would be music to the ears of my constituents?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question, but I have to say that there will be stiff competition from the prime beef from the north of Scotland.