Private Water Supplies annual report published

Scotland’s Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) has published a report on the quality of water found in private water supplies. The report finds that many of these supplies comply with drinking water standards but a significant number need to make further improvements.

Around 3.6 per cent of the Scottish population receive their water from a private water supply rather than from Scottish Water. In 2017 local authorities reported to DWQR that there were 22,269 registered PWS in Scotland, 2,494 Type A and 19,775 Type B.

Rise in cases of Salmonella typhimurium

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Public Health England (PHE) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) are reminding people to take care when handling raw meat and to cook it properly.

This comes following a rise in cases of a particular strain of Salmonella typhimurium linked to lamb and mutton. The first increase in cases of this particular strain was seen July 2017. Prior to that, only two cases of this strain had been detected in England.

BSE case found on farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

A case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has been confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

The case was identified as a result of strict control measures are in place, as all animals over four years of age that die on farm are routinely tested for BSE under a comprehensive surveillance system.

In addition to the measures that are in place for fallen stock and animal feed, there is a strict control regime to protect consumers.  This includes the removal of specified risk material such as the spinal column, brain and skull from carcasses.

Recycled household waste overtakes landfill for the first time

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has published Official Statistics’ which provide detail of Household Waste collected for all 32 of Scotland’s Local Authorities during 2017,along with additional commentary for the whole of Scotland.

The Statistics’ reveal for the first time, in 2017 that there was more Scottish waste recycled (1.12 million tonnes) than landfilled (1.11 million tonnes).

Scottish food samples: 8% of meat samples reveal contamination from other animals’ DNA

About 8% of meat tested in Scotland in 2017 was found to contain the DNA of an animal not listed on the labelling, after being tested by local councils.  This was revealed following a freedom of information request by the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme to Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

Information collected by FSS showed that of the 631 dishes examined last year, 48 were found to have been “contaminated” with the meat of an animal not listed on the label or menu description. 

First Glasgow unveil cleaner buses ahead of the Low Emission Zone

Glasgow’s biggest bus operator First Glasgow have unveiled the first batch of 25 buses which have been fitted with cleaner engines ahead of the launch of Glasgow Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

The buses started operating in the city on 11 October, on the 75 service running from Castlemilk to Milton.

The new buses are designed to operate in the city's planned Low Emission Zone (LEZ) which is to be phased in from the 1 January. During phase one of the LEZ, 20% of a bus operator's fleet is required to be compliant and a target of 100% has been set for the end of 2022. 

Californian EHO visits REHIS

Over the years the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) has brought together Environmental Health professionals from all over the globe. REHIS recently played host to one such friendship. Colin Wallace, a past President and IFEH representative, has been a friend and colleague of Sharyn Jupp for many years always meeting on foreign soil so it was a great pleasure for them both to be able to meet up in Scotland at the end of September.

Innovative electric vehicle charging zones planned for Edinburgh in Scottish first

On the 4 October Edinburgh City Council’s Transport and Environment Committee approved a business case to improve electric vehicle infrastructure in the city. 

The business case developed for the city council by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), suggests that the city will need to install 211 charging points by 2023 at a cost of £3.3 million, in order to meet future demand for charging facilities. The points would include 111 fast chargers, 23 rapid chargers and 77 slow chargers.

“Make the voice of Environmental Health heard”- a letter received by REHIS

A letter has been received by REHIS in response to the letters published in The Herald newspaper regarding the current concerns over the environmental health profession. The letters by Tom Bell and John Crawford were published on the REHIS website. The letter in response can be read below: 

Dear President,

Brexit impact on food safety and standards

Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russel has voiced his concerns on EU withdrawal plans for food safety and standards at the REHIS annual Food Update Event held on 26 September. 

He stated that more power and resources must be transferred to the Scottish Parliament to guarantee food safety and standards after Brexit.

The warning comes after the UK Government put forward plans to mitigate potential 'no deal' border delays by minimising customs checks for food and feed imports.

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