‘Change culture to avoid E. coli’

Source of Article:  http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/07/15/change-culture-to-avoid-e-coli-91466-24155870/

 

A CULTURE change is needed in all parts of the food supply chain if the UK is to avoid another E.coli food poisoning outbreak.

That is the conclusion of the Government department charged with ensuring food safety.

The board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) yesterday approved a five-year plan that will push food businesses to adopt a food safety culture and comply with hygiene laws, and urge stricter punishments for those that do not.

The FSA will also ensure health inspectors are better trained.

Responding to the serious flaws found in the environmental health and abattoir inspection regimes uncovered by the public inquiry into the 2005 E.coli O157 outbreak that claimed the life of Mason Jones, 5, from Deri, near Bargoed, the FSA said a special group, the Food Hygiene Delivery Programme Board, has been set up to push through the changes that are needed.

A report put before FSA board members in London stated “culture change in all of the relevant parts of the food supply chain” is necessary.

Mason Jones’ mum Sharon Mills said she is pleased with the action being taken by the FSA.

“This sounds promising and shows they are moving in the right direction,” she said.

“The FSA has kept us informed about the improvements it has made so far and what it is doing now, and although it may be slow, at least we can see there is some movement now towards making things safer.

“Things are slowly changing and hopefully we will all see the benefits sooner rather than later.”

But Ms Mills added that as the plans for change are currently only on paper, she will keep a close watch on the FSA and other enforcement bodies, including local authorities, to ensure the improvements to food safety become a reality.

Professor Hugh Pennington’s report into the 2005 E.coli outbreak in the South Wales Valleys laid the blame firmly on the shoulders of Bridgend butcher William Tudor, who supplied contaminated meat to schools.

But he also criticised the Meat Hygiene Service, part of the FSA, for failing to carry out their duty in respect of conditions at the JE Tudor & Sons abattoir, which supplied Tudor with meat – the abattoir recorded the lowest ever hygiene scores in Britain and yet was allowed to continue operating.

Prof Pennington also highlighted the actions of Bridgend council’s environmental health officers who allowed William Tudor to continue trading despite posing a risk to public health.

 

Main Page

setstats            Copyright (C) All rights reserved under FoodHACCP.com

            If you have any comments, please  send your email to info@foodhaccp.com