In 1970 there were 8,088 cases of food poisoning notified and ascertained in England, and 38 people died, due mainly or in part to food poisoning or infection with food poisoning organisms. Nowadays nearly all food poisoning is due to contamination of food with disease‐producing bacteria, usually due to faulty hygiene or bad handling practices — but food may be inherently poisonous or poisons may find their way into it. Poisoning from inherently poisonous food is rare in England, although people do occasionally eat toadstools instead of mushrooms, and chemical food poisoning, although relatively common 50 years ago, is very rare now. Interest in chemical poisons in food has revived, however, because of concern over food additives and contaminants such as pesticide residues, although it is the long‐term effect over many years rather than acute poisoning incidents which is the main object of study now.
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