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 Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:39 pm, 17th June 2019

My hon. Friend makes an incredibly important point—even more than he says. Without genomics, which the UK is the world leader in, it would have been impossible to link the different listeria deaths. They would have looked like individual cases in separate, individual hospitals. It is only because through genomics it could be worked out that the exact strain of listeria was the same in cases in different hospitals that we could then work out that there must have been a factor at work that was not internal to the hospital. When it was then identified that the food provider provided food to many different hospitals, that link could be made, too. Science and scientific progress are saving lives here.