Food Law News - UK - 1997
6 October 1997: MICROBIOLOGICAL SAFETY - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on The Microbiological Safety of Food
DoH News Release, 6 October 1997
Meeting of the Advisory Committee on The Microbiological Safety of Food
At its twenty fifth meeting held on 18 September 1997 the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food discussed the following items relevant to potential future legislation:
- Raw cows drinking milk: The Committee considered two separate surveys, from ADAS and the Public Health Laboratory Service, on the microbiological status of raw cows' drinking milk on retail sale. The Committee was very concerned to note the surveys showed that raw cows' drinking milk carried significant amounts of faecal contamination indicator microorganisms, as well as, in some cases, food poisoning pathogens. The Committee concluded that the sale of such milk in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be banned (the sale of raw cows' drinking milk is already banned in Scotland).
- Other raw drinking milk: In the absence of similar information on raw sheep and goats' drinking milk the Committee recommended an early investigation of the microbiological status of these milks. The Committee also recommended in the meantime that advice be given on the possible risks associated with the consumption of raw sheep and goats' drinking milk.
- New York dressed poultry (refers to uneviscerated poultry): The Committee considered the microbiological risks associated with the sale of uneviscerated and partly eviscerated poultry and game and concluded there were inherent risks in such poultry and game entering the market because uneviscerated meat poses a risk of cross contamination and consequently of foodborne infection. The Committee advised that the future of this trade should be reviewed.
- Salmonella in Eggs: At its previous meeting the Committee set up a Working Group to examine the results of a survey of Salmonella contamination of eggs on retail sale. The Working Group, having looked in depth at the results of that surveillance, confirmed that the level of Salmonella contamination had not improved significantly since a similar survey carried out in 1991. Against this background and in the light of evidence that the culinary use of eggs in uncooked dishes is still too frequent, the Committee has strongly recommended that the Department of Health seeks new and additional means for disseminating the warning against preparing raw egg dishes.
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