Letter: Thumbs up for safety

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The Independent Online
Sir: Local authority environmental health officers have taken a lot of stick recently for being busybodies. It is a pity, therefore, that your report today on the thumb found in a takeaway salad did not mention that the case was brought to court by Camden council as a result of an investigation by its environmental health officers.

Besides dealing with complaints of unwelcome foreign objects in food, they check food-poisoning cases - some of which have resulted in people ending up in hospital - and dangerous premises. They are also responsible for checking that theatres and discos are safe, and that hotels, hostels and bedsits are fit to live in.

In recent months, however, environmental health officers have often been presented as either interfering in businesses or killjoys. They are neither. I have seen evidence of the state of some of the restaurants, cafes and bakeries they have visited, and am very glad they are there checking that the food we eat is wholesome and safe.

Yours faithfully,

BERNARD KISSEN

Chair

Public Health & Environmental

Services Committee

Camden Council

London, NW1

5 August

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