Control and investigation of outbreaks of food related infectious disease audit

The Food Standards Agency Wales audit reviewed the arrangements that the 22 local authorities in Wales had in place to ensure the control and investigation of outbreaks of food related infectious disease.

Summary of the report's conclusions

The summary findings of the audit:

  • Outbreak Control Plan dealing with the investigation and control of outbreaks of food related infectious disease were in place for all authorities. Of these 21 were consistent with the model plan developed.
  • Four authorities had submitted plans signed by all four of the contributing parties, the numbers of signatories, for the others, varied from three to none although in many cases local authorities had made considerable efforts to obtain the necessary signatures.
  • There was no evidence that local authorities’ individual plans had been reviewed on an annual basis. This resulted in some out of date references to legislation, codes of practice and contact details.
  • All authorities indicated that staff involved in the investigation and management of food related infectious disease outbreaks also undertook other duties.
  • All authorities had identified a proper officer, a food examiner and a public analyst.
  • Eleven authorities had drafted their food service plan in full accordance with the service planning guidance contained within the Framework Agreement. Eleven had submitted their food service plan for approval by the relevant member forum in accordance with the requirements of the Framework Agreement.
  • There was evidence that a considerable amount of training in relation to infectious disease control had taken place.
  • Liaison between local authorities generally varied according to their geographical location.
  • Local authorities reported a variety of arrangements to deal with the notification of outbreaks out of normal office working hours.