Morgan identifies E.coli O157 lessons learnt

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan has told the Welsh Assembly that the Pennington Report has shone a clear light on industry shortcomings.

Morgan told Assembly Ministers that the Report laid responsibility for the outbreak squarely on the shoulders of butcher William Tudor and highlighted the principle that prime responsibility for food safety lies with businesses.

He said: “As so often, it’s not the systems, it’s how well or how badly those systems work. Good inspectors are not necessarily good box-tickers, and good box-tickers are not necessarily good inspectors.”

The Welsh politician added that training had to be the focus on distinguishing between what is a life-or- death piece of bad practice and what is just a minor misdemeanour in procedure.

The 2005 E.coli outbreak lasted 101 days, causing over 158 people to become ill and leading to one fatality.

Morgan added: “The Pennington Inquiry Report has shone a clear light upon those areas where shortcomings were evident and where mistakes had been made. It helps us to do everything we can to reduce the risk of such errors in the future. Those actions are the responsibility of a range of organisations, with the Assembly Government primarily involved in ensuring that those efforts are sustained and co-ordinated.”