Positive progress has been made by the majority of Welsh local authorities in preventing future outbreaks of E.coli, a new report has found.
The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Food and Feed Law Enforcement Review in Wales, commissioned in January 2014, looked at what progress has been made to implement recommendations of the Pennington inquiry following a serious outbreak nine years ago.
Five-year-old Mason Jones, from Deri, near Bargoed, Rhymney Valley, died in 2005 and more than 150 others fell ill with the O157 strain across Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff.
The outbreak, which struck 44 schools, was the UK’s second biggest.
But the new report, which was unveiled at the Royal Welsh Show, said most councils had “acted decisively” to implement recommendations of the 2009 Pennington inquiry.
The FSA set up a food hygiene delivery programme in response to the inquiry’s recommendations and developed a programme of work to improve food hygiene delivery and enforcement across the UK.
Local authority data has confirmed there have been significant improvements in the proportion of food businesses in Wales which are compliant with food hygiene law.
The report said the introduction of the food hygiene rating scheme – known as “scores on the doors” – and collaborative working between local authorities, the FSA and the Welsh Government has empowered consumers to make informed choices about where they eat.
Wales is the only part of the UK where all businesses must display their rating by law.