Listeria: Contaminated Sandwiches

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:39 pm on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 4:39 pm, 17th June 2019

The Secretary of State will be aware that in my constituency of Stone, where the Good Food Chain is situated, there is obviously very deep concern, not least because we had the horrendous Mid Staffs hospital crisis. I had to campaign on that against the Labour Government’s refusal to give a full public inquiry, which our Government did give.

Having said that, is it not the case that the Good Food Chain is only responsible for the products that the patients consumed, and that the bacteria came from another company, which I am given to understand is called North Country Cooked Meats in Salford? I do commend Public Health England and the Secretary of State for the rapid way in which they identified the connections between these different places. Whereas it is absolutely essential that we have the root and branch review the Secretary of State has provided, is it not also the case that while the companies concerned will have to accept responsibility as far as it falls on them, at the same time there are really important reasons to identify exactly what did happen—where the food was contaminated, how it was contaminated—and then to exonerate the Good Food Chain, if in fact that is the case, because it is very unfair for companies to be caught up in something when it was not entirely their fault?