A new campaign by the Consumer’s Association has been launched today with the aim of clamping down on food poisoning in the UK. Members of the public will be advised on what to do if they suspect they have become ill through eating out.

The project was deemed necessary after an investigation by the Consumers Association revealed that public health scientists investigated 97,000 cases of food poisoning last year alone. Furthermore they believe that many caterers evade prosecution because so many people fail to report their sickness, or leave it so late that evidence for a legal case can no longer be gathered.

Restaurants in the City of Westminster, London, were the focus of the investigation, and environmental health officers uncovered appalling breaches of health and hygiene regulations, including the presence of mice and filth. The Food Standards Agency believes that a tougher inspection system is necessary – in 1999 almost half of Britain’s restaurants and cafes were shown to contravene health and safety