Food poisoning on the rise in UK, Brexit blamed

According to health experts across the Channel, the easing of standards and import controls linked to Brexit have contributed to a rise in foodborne illnesses in recent months.

Has Brexit contributed to the rising number of food poisoning cases across the Channel? However, it suggests that this is one of the ways put forward by health experts to explain the “unprecedented” rise in foodborne illnesses seen in the UK over the past several months. Guardian.

According to data from the NHS, the United Kingdom's public health system, 1,468 hospital-acquired salmonella infections were recorded between April 2022 and March 2023, a rate of three admissions per 100,000 people. An achievement.

Cases of contamination with E.coli bacteria and campylobacteriosis have also reached unprecedented levels, with 4,340 people hospitalized in the past two years. This corresponds to a rate of “9 in 100,000 in 2023, compared to 3 in 100,000 in 2000,” the Guardian underlines.

Suspension of import restrictions

Reasons for increasing food contamination are discussed. While the British Food Safety Agency attributes this mainly to improvements in recent years in detecting these diseases, other experts cite a number of factors, including a decrease in the resources of local health authorities, but also a reduction in regulations and import controls after Brexit.

Quoted by the British newspaper, Tim Long, professor of food policy at City University London's Center for Food Policy, attributes the situation to government indifference to questions of health and food safety, which has “worsened. Brexit”.

“We left the European Union, whose system is more focused on inspection and quality control,” he said.

After leaving the European Union in 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union were to implement a series of import restrictions from January 1, 2021. If the EU introduced everything by this date, it would not be in the British case, but he has repeatedly rejected them for fear of disrupting the economy. This is particularly related to the sanitary and phytosanitary controls on agri-food products that came into force only at the end of January 2024.

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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it was investigating poisonings linked to imports of poultry and eggs from Poland, after several contaminations last year. James Motterhead, chairman of the group representing poultry producers at the NFU, an organization representing more than 45,000 agricultural businesses, found it “deeply concerning” that poultry products produced outside the United Kingdom were being imported from countries where salmonella cases were on the rise.

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