E.coli update: FSA to consider Pennington report

Food safety bosses said they needed time to consider the conclusions of Professor Hugh Pennington's report into the South Wales E.coli outbreak.

In a statement issued today, The Food Standards Agency said: "The report of the Public Inquiry is a comprehensive document and the Agency will review it in detail. This issue will be discussed further at the Agency's open Board meeting in April.

"Public health is the number one priority of the Food Standards Agency and the Meat Hygiene Service. The Agency was established in 2000 to protect consumers and we welcome any steps taken to support us in this aim. Since 2000, cases of food-borne illness have dropped by almost 20%. The Agency remains committed to continuing this work.

"The outbreak of E.coli in Wales in 2005 was a grave, but unusual, event and the report of the independent Public Inquiry is valuable in understanding the chain of events that led to the outbreak.

"Everyone involved in the production and distribution of food has a role to play in ensuring food safety - from food producers to people in their homes. When rare outbreaks such as this occur, we must learn from them and further strengthen our systems."

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