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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 27 January, 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

E-Coli Action Plan Update

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To apprise cabinet of progress in implementing the recommendations of the Public Inquiry Report into the September 2005 outbreak of E.Coli 0157 in South Wales.

Recommendations

1.         THAT progress in delivering the Council's response to the recommendations of the Public Inquiry Report into the September 2005 outbreak of E.Coli 0157 in South Wales at Appendix 1 be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure the recommendations of the Public Inquiry Report are implemented in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Background

2.         The 2005 E.Coli outbreak was the largest of its kind to occur in Wales, and the second largest in the UK. The majority of the 150 people affected by the outbreak were children in 44 schools across four local authority areas (Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf). Thirty one people were admitted to hospital and one five-year-old child, Mason Jones, died.

3.         The source of the outbreak was traced to cooked meats supplied to schools from a butcher's premises, John Tudor & Son, in Bridgend. William Tudor, the food business operator, failed to ensure effective cleaning and separation and was operating with an invalid HACCP plan. He falsified records and deliberately misled Environmental Health Officers. In September 2007, William Tudor received a one year custodial sentence for serious and repeated breaches of food safety regulations.

4.         The National Assembly for Wales set up a Public Inquiry to investigate the circumstances leading to the outbreak. The inquiry, led by Professor Hugh Pennington, released its findings on 19th March 2009. The report contains a number of recommendations of relevance to council food safety and procurement services across the UK.

5.         In September 2009 and October 2009 the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and Cabinet endorsed an Action Plan developed to implement the findings of the Public Inquiry and recommended that a progress report be provided in March 2010.

6.         In July 2010 and November 2010 Progress Reports on Implementing the Recommendations of the Public Inquiry Report into the September 2005 Outbreak of E.Coli 0157 in South Wales were submitted to Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet member respectively.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         The Public Inquiry identified twenty four actions for stakeholders in its recommendations. These were detailed in the Council's Action Plan endorsed by Cabinet in October 2009. No further action on part of the Council was required in respect of sixteen of these actions.

8.         Work to implement the eight relevant actions identified by the Public Inquiry have now been completed. This is detailed at Appendix 1.

9.         All relevant on-going recommendations are included as part of the Commercial Teams day to day working programmes and practices. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      Whilst there are no direct resource implications arising out of this report, recommendation 3 of the Public Inquiry states that Local Authorities should ensure that all food businesses in Wales understand and use the HACCP approach and have in place an effective, documented, food safety management system which is embedded in working culture and practice. This is currently being provided through direct funding from the FSA Wales.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      None directly arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      The Council has statutory duties in respect of food safety and infectious disease control.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      None arising directly from this report

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      None arising directly from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      Work in relation to food safety and infectious disease control contributes to the Corporate Objective of Community Wellbeing - to make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full. It also contributes to the following Public Protection objective:-

·           To protect and improve public health by ensuring businesses meet legislative requirements, controlling infectious disease, encouraging responsible dog ownership, controlling pests and regulating animal health and welfare.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      This report is for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.      This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Leah Harris - Environmental Health Officer.

 

Officers Consulted

Laura Davies - Finance

Richard Price - Legal

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services.

 

 

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