Latest figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have revealed an increase in the number of food hygiene incidents that took place last year.
The figures show almost 300 more occurred in 2010 when compared to the previous months, with the majority (23 per cent), related to environmental contamination.
Among the incidents that took place were seizures of illicit alcohol following fraud investigations and an outbreak of salmonella bareilly linked to bean sprouts.
A total of 70 product recall and withdrawal notices were issued by the DSA - 34 of which related to allergies - and the FSA also worked to improve its food alert system and give training to local authorities to ensure they are better prepared to handle food hygiene incidents, which are fined by the body as an event where "there are concerns about actual or suspected threats to the safety or quality of food".
The body, which acts as an independent government department, was established in 2000 to ensure the public's health concerns and consumer interests are protected in the food industry.