Sharon Mills, the mother of 5-year-old Mason Jones, who died in 2005 in the largest-ever E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Wales, has been nominated for Mum of the Year.
Mills, 36, is being recognized for her efforts to improve food safety since losing her son. Mason became the face of the Wales outbreak, which sickened more than 150, mostly children, and sent 31 to area hospitals.
Mills most recently has worked to make the display of restaurant food hygienic scores mandatory. The Welsh Government has said it will introduce legislation to require all restaurants, including those that sell only take out foods, to display their inspection scores.
Mills, who has two surviving sons ages now 7 and 14, also played a role in the outbreak investigations, including the independent inquiry conducted by Professor Hugh Pennington.
“I’m extremely pleased with the nomination and I am very proud, ” she said. “This is quite an achievement for us and my little boy. There have been a considerable amount of changes made (in food hygiene laws) since 2005 and there are more tools for parents to find out more about where they and their children are eating.”
Her father, Robert Mills, said: “Sharon has campaigned tirelessly for a change in the laws governing food safety.
“Her belief that Mason’s death must not be in vain and her efforts to stop such an outbreak ever occurring again deserve true recognition.
“And on top of everything, she continues to be a perfect mum to her other two boys.”
The selection panel will include: Olympic athlete Denise Lewis, choreographer Arlene Phillips, television presenter Emma Forbes and Ultimo founder Michelle Mone.