Intended for healthcare professionals


Regulation has not reduced food poisoning in Britain

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 01 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1111
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    Cases of bacterial food poisoning in the United Kingdom have increased fivefold over the past 15 years despite attempts to improve regulation, according to a report published this week by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

    The report states that notifications for bacterial food poisoning in England and Wales increased from 14000 cases in 1982 to 83000 in 1996; figures for Scotland rose from 2700 to over 10000. Dr Peter Border, parliamentary adviser with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, the body that provides parliament with independent analyses of scientific issues, said: “The overall picture is of a large risk in food poisoning notifications; [food poisoning]now affects almost 100000 people each year.”

    Escherichia coli O157 was virtually unknown before the 1980s, but overall …

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