Urgent question on listeria outbreak

17 June 2019

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth asked an urgent question in the Commons today as the number of deaths related to pre-packed sandwiches and salads at hospitals rises.

Dr Nick Phin, from Public Health England, said:

"To date, there have been no patients linked to this incident outside healthcare organisations, but we continue to investigate. Swift action was taken to protect patients and any risk to the public is low. PHE is continuing to analyse all recent and ongoing samples of listeria from hospital patients to understand whether their illness is linked to this outbreak."

Responding for the Government, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs:

"I promise there will be a full and thorough investigation and severe consequences if there's any evidence of wrong-doing."

Following up on his question, the Shadow Health Secretary said: 

"His review that he's announced today should be backed up with investment in hospital catering, in facilities and legally backed clear minimum quality standards for hospital food."

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At times MPs may want to put an urgent question to a Minister. If a matter of public importance has arisen, which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to the Speaker to put forward such a question.

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