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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington says 'Keep Your Food Cool for those Summer Picnics' in food safety week.

June 15, 2007 9:56 AM

Tom poses with a large sandwich to remind everyone to keep food cool during summer picnicsTom Brake gave his support to the Food Standards Agency's 'Bugs Like It Hot' theme for Food Safety Week (11 - 17 June) which was launched on Tuesday 12 June at a Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is advising people, when eating outdoors during the hot summer months, to keep food cool at all times - particularly when travelling in a car to a picnic. Bugs that cause food poisoning can multiply at a fast rate in the back seat or boot of a car in hot weather. Every year there are around 850,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK with a peak in summer months.

Tom was photographed at the FSA's 'Bugs Like It Hot' stand at the House of Commons and was briefed on the FSA's top tips to the public planning picnics this summer:

"People should not have their fun day out spoilt by an unpleasant case of food poisoning," Tom said. "They can help prevent this happening by making sure their food is kept cool - avoid delays in getting shopping home and, if having a picnic, keep food in a cool bag with some ice bricks or frozen cartons of fruit juice."

Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the Food Standards Agency, told the audience of Peers, MPs and representatives of the food industry and consumer groups:

"If you've ever had food poisoning, particularly one of the nastier

versions of it like salmonella, you'll know it's not a trivial thing. In 2005 around 850,000 people were affected -19,500 of whom were hospitalised and over 500 died."

The FSA is trying to combat this trend by stressing the importance of keeping food cool, particularly in warm weather, she said.

The FSA's main achievement to date was the reduction by 19.2% in foodborne illnesses since 2000, a reduction that translates to: 1.5 million fewer cases; 10,000 fewer hospital beds taken up; and an estimated cost saving of around £750 million.