£2.5 million for handwashing campaign

Health Minister Andy Kerr has pledged £2.5 million towards a campaign on handwashing Mr Kerr said: "Hands can carry a range of bugs, including healthcare associated infections like MRSA, illness such as food poisoning and viruses like flu. Washing hands regularly and thoroughly will dramatically reduce the spread of these bugs. The announcement was made as part of this year's Infection Control Awareness Week. As well as NHS professionals, the minister gave a reminder that the public has a key role to play in helping reduce the spread of infection.

Environmental 'Incivilities' are social stressors

In the newly-published annual report from the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Harry Burns highlights research that shows that environmental incivilities, such as litter, grafitti and dog fouling have a negative impact on human well-being, particulaly in lower socio-economic groups. The effect leads to greater stress than is felt in less deprived areas. The report raises 'intriguing possibilites' of meeting the challenge of improving health and well-being.

Smoking Ban 'could wipe out lung cancer'

A Scotland in which lung cancer is virtually wiped out is a real possibility in years to come if the reduction in deaths speeds up as expected, Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns (pictured) said in his first annual report.

In a wide-ranging summary of the nation's health, Dr Burns concludes that the overall picture is optimistic.
For the full report click here

Food allergies and intolerances

Voluntary best practice guidance from the Food Standards Agency for caterers and retailers.

Useful food safety information from foodlink

foodlink is organised by the Food and Drink Federation in association with the Food Standards Agency, the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS), the Departments of Health, Food and Education, the National Farmers Union, the British Retail Consortium and the British Hospitality Association. foodlink

Health Minister urged to tackle sunbeds

The President of REHIS, John Stirling, has written to the Health Minister Andy Kerr (pictured), asking him to take action on the licensing of sunbed parlours. Measures were outlined in a propososed private Members' Bill due to be put to the Scottish Parliament by Ken Macintosh, MSP. However, it now appears that there will be insufficient time for the Bill to proceed before the election in May 2007.

REHIS to host emergency volunteers

The newly-formed group of environmental health volunteers is due to meet in Edinburgh next week, courtesy of REHIS. EHiDE (Environmental Health in Disasters and Emergencies) was set up in response to recent large-scale natural disasters. There have already been calls for potential volunteers and meetings have been held in Dublin, London and Wigan. This is the first meeting of its kind in Scotland and the intention is to give the attendees a flavour of what they might be letting themselves in for in the event of an emergency.

The Healthy Living Award replaces Scottish Healthy Choices Award

The Healthyliving Award will give national recognition to those eating establishments which are responding to consumer demand for healthier food. The Award will build on the success of the former Scottish Healthy Choices Award which, introduced 10 years ago, was run for the Scottish Executive by the Scottish Consumer Council.

FSAS Food Hygiene Information Scheme

Consumer groups in Scotland have been keen for some time to see greater transparency of enforcement and compliance with food safety legislation. For more information on 'scores on the doors' read the full news item, as mentioned in Environmental Health Scotland, Volume 18, Number 3.

REHIS can help parents banish junk food

In the debate about standards of diet among Scottish children, the Institute has highlighted the Food and Health course, which gives advice on providing healthy meals and snacks on a budget.

REHIS is a registered charity in Scotland, SC009406

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