E.coli update: No room for complacency

E.coli 0157 is not going to go away, and there is no room for complacency, warned Professor Hugh Pennington.

Speaking at the publication of the results of his year-long inquiry into the South Wales outbreak, which claimed the life of five-year-old Mason Jones, Pennington said the target must be zero outbreaks from food.

"I had hoped the lessons from the shocking events in Scotland in 1996 would stay in people's minds, but some 10 years after leading a review into that outbreak, I have found myself looking at issues that are, disappointingly, all too familiar."

He said a comparison between the two outbreaks showed that lessons had either not been learnt or had been forgotten.

The food safety regulations that were in place should, if implemented correctly, have been sufficient to prevent an outbreak.

He said to ensure the lessons were remembered this time, he recommended a substantial review of food hygiene enforcement in Wales take place in five years' time.

He said: "The review should help maintain consistently high standards in the delivery of what are important public services. More importantly, it will help ensure that the lessons to emerge from the outbreak are not forgotten.

"We owe it to the memory of Mason Jones to learn the lessons and to remember them."

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