Food poisoning 'costs firms pounds 700m a year'

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The Independent Online
UP TO 10 million people are afflicted by food poisoning every year in England, according to a government report which says that previous figures were massive under-estimates.

The report, which was leaked to Channel 4 News, says the annual cost to the country in treatment, days off work and lost business is pounds 700m.

The conclusions were reached by GPs and scientists who launched an investigation into the extent of food poisoning in 1993 after a series of scares, including fears that salmonella could be commonly found in eggs. They spent five years studying cases before submitting their report to the Ministry of Agriculture.

The report concluded that previous estimates - that one in 10 cases of infection and illness was reported to GPs - were far too optimistic. It said the true figure was closer to one in 30.