at the ICC on Friday 5 November were left in no doubt
about the risks of bringing back food from abroad, when
a new government campaign came to the area.
The aim of the campaign by the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to raise awareness of
the foods that cannot be legally brought back to the UK
from outside the EU.
LEFT TO RIGHT:
Advisor to the ICC Director General, Hackney
Senior Environmental Health Officer
Head of Environmental Health,
London Borough of Hackney
Muslim Council of Britain, Consultant Microbiologist
- The Health Protection Agency
campaign highlights the rules and restrictions that travellers
need to know before they travel abroad, so that they do
not run the risk of breaking the law.
mobile information unit was based in the ICC, in London
on 5 November. Experienced staff were on hand with up-to-date
information on the campaign and the laws behind it. Visitors
were able to view a new public information film, due to
be screened on national TV soon, and also acquaint themselves
with a new website about the campaign. Leaflets and posters
in several languages including Arabic, Chinese, Bengali,
Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu and English were
Yunes Teinaz, Health and Management Advisor (to the Director
General of the London Central Mosque Trust and the Islamic
Cultural Centre) and Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner
said, "I was glad to see so many people taking an
interest in the campaign. We all need to be made aware
of the new regulations regarding food imports, as a great
number of travellers tend to bring back food products,
which have been given to them as gifts by family or friends.
What makes this campaign more effective and accessible
to the Muslim community is the fact that information was
available in our own language".
campaign at the ICC was greatly welcomed by the Muslim
community and the response was outstanding. People were
genuinely interested in learning about the new rules now
in place and many were readily sharing their own travel
experiences with the staff.
The ICC was one of many stops on a national tour by the
campaign’s roadshow following its official launch
on 25 October 2004. At the launch, Food and Farming Minister
Larry Whitty said:
“People may not see any harm in bringing food back
to the UK when they return from a holiday or a business
trip, but some foods may contain pests and diseases that
threaten the health of our agricultural crops and livestock,
as well as public health. Because of these risks, there
are strict restrictions on foodstuffs brought back from
countries outside the EU.
would urge everyone to check the rules before they leave
the UK. If you are caught breaking them, then you may
face long delays, prosecution and a fine.”
The mobile unit will visit more than 30 places up and
down the UK including Birmingham, Bradford, Liverpool,
Manchester and Brighton over the next six months.
Notes to Editors: