Written Answers. - Food Poisoning Statistics.

154.

asked the Minister for Health for each health board area and for each of the years (a) 1986, (b) 1987 and (c) 1988: (1) the total number of cases of food poisoning reported, (2) the total number of these cases caused by salmonella, (3) of these caused by salmonella, the number which were attributed specifically to salmonella enteritidis and (4) where known, the source of such salmonella enteritidis contamination.

The tables below set out the information requested by the Deputy in so far as it has been reported to my Department.

Food Poisoning (other than salmonellosis)

Health Board

1986

1987

1988

Eastern

Nil

13

3

Midland

6

1

Nil

Mid-Western

14

7

4

North-Eastern

10

3

3

North-Western

93

Nil

4

South-Eastern

12

2

2

Southern

32

19

5

Western

28

43

22

Total

195

88

43

Salmonellosis

Health Board

1986

1987

1988

Eastern

93

76

60

Midland

14

48

16

Mid-Western

Nil

19

24

North-Eastern

21

14

19

North-Western

56

7

18

South-Eastern

19

21

17

Southern

51

34

122

Western

11

30

8

Total

265

249

284

Of the total number 122 cases of salmonellosis reported for the Southern Health Board in 1988, 120 of these cases were in respect of the Cork area. All of the 120 cases reported for the Cork area were of samonella enteritidis.

Bacteriological examination of poultry and epidemiological data point to the consumption of infected poultry as the cause of the outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in the Cork area. I reiterate that the public need have no concern about the consumption of poultry, provided products are cooked thoroughly.