London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Port of London 1912

Report for the year ended 31st December 1912 of the Medical Officer of Health for the Port of London

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The importations of Frozen and Chilled beef from Australia, New Zealand and
South America, into the Port of London daring the year were 200,694 quarters in
excess of the previous year and totalled 2,028,479 quarters, or 41.24 per cent of the total
quantity imported into the United Kingdom.
58 tons 3 cwts. 0 qrs. 3 lbs. were seized as unfit for human food, and comprised
564 quarters, 594 pieces, 17 packages and sundry pieces. This shows that, on the
whole, the beef arrived in good condition.
The largest quantity seized on any ship was 12 tons 1 cwt. 1 qr. 19 lbs., as
compared with 90 tons in the previous year.
In only one instance was beef from Australia found to be effected with "worm "
(onchocerca). The consignment arrived in the Port of London on the 30th November
and consisted of one package containing four briskets and flanks. "Worm" nests were
found in each, and the meat was, therefore, seized and destroyed.
The Official Certificate of the Commonwealth of Australia, as approved by the Local
Government Board, was not found on the package or meat.
The practice of cutting off the flanks and briskets from the fore-quarters has
continued, whilst the examination of the hind-quarters has been more thoroughly and
efficiently done by the inspectors in Australia, and accounts for the absence of "worm"
in the beef examined in this Port.
The s.s. "Highland Piper," from Buenos Ayres, arrived in the Royal Albert Dock
on the 9th December, having on board 40 boxes of meat described as "Stripped loins."
This was boneless meat, and was dealt with as Foreign Meat of Class 1 and Notices
were served upon the Importers, under Articles III. (5) and VI of the Public Health
(Foreign Meat) Regulations, 1908, forbidding the removal of the meat for any purpose
other than exportation.
There being a difference of opinion between the Importers and your Medical Officer
of Health as to whether the meat capae within the definition of Foreign Meat of Class 1,
and should be exported, the matter was referred to the Local Government Board for
determination, in accordance with the provisions of Article 17 of the Regulations.
Dr. Mac Fadden, the Chief Food Inspector of the Local Government Board, attended
at the Victoria Dock and examined a portion of the consignment, and having heard the
opinion of the Importers and your Medical Officer of Health, he decided that the meat
was not Foreign Meat of Class 1, and in accordance with his decision the Notices served
upon the Importers were withdrawn and the meat released.

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