Letter: Good luck to those sandwich supervisors

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article 'Bacteria found in shop sandwiches' (3 February) outlines the findings of the Consumer Association survey into sandwiches. Sandwiches are big business and if 'one in six of the sandwiches surveyed contained food poisoning bacteria', there is cause for concern.

Great care and attention in preparation and distribution are required, but surely let us keep a sense of proportion. For example, the current Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill and the Police and Magistrates Bill between them require only 193 pages to try and pass into law proposals of enormous scope, while your article tells us that 'a new sandwich destined for Boots' shelves will have its own 30-page specification'. Surely the complete 250-year history of the sandwich could be concisely contained within such a space?

I had not previously heard of the British Sandwich Association (BSA), perhaps because I make my wife's myself every morning. I have a research degree in bacteriology from Oxford University where I was supervised by a Nobel prizewinner but your article has got me worried. Perhaps I should contact the BSA, who I note from the Directory of British Associations organise 'conferences, meetings, research, exhibitions, competitions, visits and/or excursions, and liaison with government'. Their work is of great value, and I wish them luck in their almost impossible task of 'raising standards in the UK sandwich industry'.

Incidentally, I wonder whether the BSA have a tie and, if so, what the emblem is. After all my hard work in our kitchen I feel I have earned one. Perhaps speaking heraldically it is a shield with dexter, a prawn couchant, with sinister, a bacterium rampant? Good luck to them, I say again.

Yours faithfully,


House of Lords

London, SW1